Ice Damming

A roofing system’s mortal enemy is an ice dam.  Ice dams are fierce and have ways of backing themselves up into your home without regard for the materials they have come into contact with.

But what causes an ice dam? I mean other than the fact that this is Canada and we get A LOT of snow? According to the University of Minnesota Extension housing technology webpage click here – “An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.” The water that gets trapped has no place to go and then it works its way into the house damaging all that it comes into contact with. What can someone do to prevent ice dams?

  1. Ensure that the attic ventilation is adequate. This includes both air intake and exhaust ventilation. You need to make sure air intake at soffits is not blocked and that exhaust vents are adequate and not covered.
  2. Make sure you have adequate R-value in your attic along with vapour barrier. This helps to retain the heat in your home.

What immediate action can be taken if your home suffers from ice dams? Rooftop snow removal performed by a professional is the best immediate solution (we can do that too!!). Then work with professionals like Kola Home Solutions to address exhaust and intake ventilation, or discuss insulation, roofing or soffit and fascia solutions.