What is Ice-Damming?
Ice-damming refers to a build-up of ice that forms on the roof of a heated building, usually caused by deficiencies in attic insulation which provide optimal conditions for heat to escape.
How Does it Happen?
As heat from your home escapes through poorly insulated ceiling and attic spaces, the heat will begin to melt some of the snow that has accumulated on the roof. The problem begins to escalate from there as the melted snow trickles down to the edge of the roof’s eavesdrop and begins to re-freeze due to the cold. Thus, an ice dam is formed. The ice dam continues to grow over the course of the winter as the formation process continues to repeats itself, eventually beginning to trap water behind the dam.
Ice dams affect many Canadian homes and buildings every year and can cause mild-to-severe damage depending on the size and duration of the ice dam. Ice dams can create leaks in the roof, leading to cases of water damage, and can compromise the lifespan of roofing materials. Ice dams can also cause physical harm; icicles that build and form on the edge of the roof can become quite heavy and sharp, posing a physical danger if they are to fall from the roof.
Two of the main factors that contribute to ice-dam formation are inadequate attic insulation and the fluctuating weather conditions throughout winter months (causing the thawing and freezing of ice and snow). While it is impossible to control the weather, the ultimate solution for preventing future ice dams is to change the physical conditions of the roof cavity and attic.
How to Prevent Ice-Damming
Hiring an insulation expert, like one of our professional crew members at Tropical Insulation, is your best line of defence against ice-damming this winter. Your Tropical Insulation expert will assess the current insulation in your ceiling/attic to come up with the best strategy to protect your home from future damage.
Renewing your current insulation in your attic is generally the most important update that can be made to your home when preparing for cold winter months. Insulation that is up-to-code will eliminate the bulk of weather-dependent issues by stopping the initial heat loss near the roof. Attic ventilation must also be addressed; ensuring proper ventilation may require opening up of soffits to attain optimal airflow and additional roof venting to simulate better circulation of air.
In protecting your house and your family from the dangers of ice-damming, Tropical Insulation recommends our blown-in cellulose insulation application for the best possible results. Raising your attic insulation to the recommended level with blown cellulose insulation will ensure that your attic is not being heated by your furnace, lessening the changes of ice dam formation. The finished product will result in an attic/ceiling space that is sealed-in, airtight and insulated, and moisture-proof, all with higher R-value ratings in comparison to similar products.
Cellulose insulation is an extremely effective barrier to heat loss and acts as a moisture barrier, protecting your house from both water damage and ice-dam formation. Air movement and air moisture in the attic of the house will be greatly reduced, which addresses the main contributing factors to the formation of ice dams.
Contact us today to request your home consultation with one of our Tropical Insulation experts today!