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Tis the Season for Ice Damming

Ice Damming can occur whenever snow accumulates on a roof for a period of time. Despite temperatures being below freezing, snow will begin melting due to 2 main factors.

  1. Radiant energy from the sun
  2. Poorly insulated attic

During daylight hours the sun’s rays begin melting the snow from the outside, while the temperature of the structure will start melting it from the inside.  Water will follow the slope of the roof heading towards the eaves and gutters.  When it comes in contact with the outside temperature, so long as it’s below 32◦, it freezes.  The more snow that melts and re-freezes, the larger the icicles.

The potential risk from ice damming can be costly, ranging from water spots on ceilings, to having to replace all your attic insulation if it gets soaked.

The Quick Fix

Remove The Snow: Using a roof rake, pull the snow off the eaves of your home.

Heating Cables: Heating cables work but are costly and unsightly. In areas like Randolph New Jersey that are prone to power outages during storms, heating cables are not your best bet.

Start from the inside out. Attic insulation is dictated by the size of your roof rafters, it’s recommended to have at least R-19 or better. Check and see if you are up to code, or if your insulation is compressed.
Next, determine whether your attic is properly ventilated. Shut the lights off during the day and see if you can spot daylight.  If you can’t it’s either being choked off by improper insulation placement, or there is no intake.

Professional Roofing Contractor of Randolph Horacio Kusnier says, “He’s amazed at our many roofers miss this vital step”.

A properly installed roof should have the following elements so that when ice damming occurs, your interior home will be protected.

  1. Aluminum Drip Edge
  2. Ice & Water Shield
  3. Starter Row Shingle
  4. Synthetic Underlayment

A professionally installed roof will not prevent ice damming, but will protect your interior home and keep it leak free.

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