Ice damming is coming!
by Seth Frumkin, Kipcon, Inc.
Although ice damming is a tricky problem to solve, there are some preventative steps you can take NOW to prevent ice damming this winter.
But first…what is ice damming?
Normally, the snow built up on your roof will melt and flow through the gutters and downspouts to the ground. In many cases, however, the melted snow will refreeze overnight, creating an ice dam in your gutters. This dam of ice traps the runoff water, which then backs up on the roof, travels under the shingles, and leaks inside. Such water infiltration can cause delamination of the roof sheathing, wood rot of the building’s rafters and interior damage to your home. It also causes attic and wall insulation to fail, which can increase heating bills substantially. Furthermore, wet insulation is a prime location for the development of mold growth, which can lead to a number of health problems such as asthma, allergies, colds and sinus conditions. With so many risks, it is important to take as many preventative measures as possible to avoid this serious, but common, issue.
How To Prevent Ice Damming
1. Clean your gutters of all leaves and debris.
This is a step you can take even before the first snowfall. Leaves and debris left in your gutters will prevent melted snow from easily flowing through, increasing the chances that the water will refreeze in your gutter and become an ice dam.
2. Decrease the heat in your attic space below the roof deck.
The cooler the attic is, the less melt off occurs. Improving insulation and ventilation is one of the most effective means of keeping the temperature of the space directly below the roofing at an appropriate level. This area should be nearly the same temperature as outside.
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Kipcon is an innovative, full-service engineering firm founded in 1983 by Mitchell H. Frumkin, PE, RS. Kipcon is committed to providing clients with sophisticated, cost effective, and personalized engineering solutions; executed in a detail-oriented but timely manner. Kipcon Engineering, Inc. is a CAI Diamond Partner.