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Protecting your Roof against Ice Dams

Home & Family > Home Improvement | By: eric sager (02/09/12)

Protecting Your Roof from Ice Dams
Ice dams are formed when the heat from inside the home escapes into the attic and warms the roof decking from beneath during the winter months. This heat, combined with the heat from the sun, can melt snow on your roof. Melting snow runs down your roof valleys and to the eaves or overhangs of your roof. When this water reaches the cold overhangs on your roof, near the gutters, it refreezes. This continual process is referred to as Roof Ice dams.

There are three ways to defend against roof ice dams:

1. Insulation: insulation keeps heat from escaping from your homes living space into the attic area, thereby, keeping it from melting he snow on the roof.

2. Ventilation: roof ventilation removes the lost heat trapped in the attic area before it has a chance to melt the snow on the roof. Roofing vent keeps the roof deck cool, a key to preventing ice dams. Also, roof vent is required by all shingle manufacturers, or your warranty will be void. ( I will post future articles about roof warranties in the future)

3. Waterproofing roof shingle underlayment: Roofing underlayment at the eaves and in the valleys, the two main areas for ice dams to appear, must be a winterguard or ice/water shield type roof underlayment. This peel and stick roofing underlayment is applied directly to the wood roof decking prior to shingle installation. Winterguard is warrantied to protect against roof leaks in the event you develop an ice dam on your roof. This is critical, because, Certainteed shingle manufacturing company will not honor a warranty due to shingle damage caused by ice dams unless your home has the winterguard underlayment installed.

With existing roofs, winterguard underlayment is only an option when it is time to replace your roof. Be sure your Roofing Contractor specifies within his contract that a Winterguard roof ice dam barrier underlayment will be installed on All eaves and in the roof valleys.

Signature Construction, Roofing Contractor, Johnstown, Pa, is dedicated to bringing homeowners more information about the roofing industry. You can visit our website for more information at
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