Feel that chill in the air? Winter is on its way, whether you like it or not. As you have turned your clocks back and break out your favorite cozy blankets, take a moment to think about the impending winter weather. Ice, snow, and other frozen forms of precipitation don’t just wreak havoc on the road – they can also damage your roof, especially when ice dams form. Theoretically, stopping ice dams is easy – your roof and eaves need to remain at the same temperature. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can prevent ice dams this winter. Read about them here!
Promote Proper Ventilation
The most effective way you can prevent ice dams is by keeping the heat out of the attic. The underside of your roof deck needs to match the temperature of the exterior side as closely as possible. If not, melting and refreezing can occur, which can cause trouble for your roof. A continuous airflow is key here, so consider a soffit-and-ridge system, which allows the air to flow freely past the insulation.
Seal the Hatch
Do you have an uncapped attic hatch or whole-house fan? If so, you’re easily allowing heat to seep into your attic, which is a real problem in the winter. Simply cover them with weatherstripped caps, and your problem should be solved.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Keep heat where it belongs – downstairs in your living spaces where you are. After doing some measuring, you can purchase batts (blanket insulation) or loose fill to control where the heat goes. R-38 to R-49 is the typical recommended value for the greater St. Louis, MO area.
Minimize Heat Sources in the Attic
Did you know that recessed lights can add heat to your attic? Unfortunately, recessed lights can become very hot, which can pose as a fire hazard when insulation is covering it. To keep heat out of your attic and a fire out of your home, replace your lights with sealed IC fixtures, which insulation can cover safely.
Seal and Insulate the Ducts
That’s right, even your ducts need to be sealed so air doesn’t leak into your attic. Make sure your ducts below the attic lead outdoors properly from your attic. A professional can help you with this project.
Keep the Gutters Clean
We know – we talk a lot about maintaining your gutters, but it’s incredibly important! If your gutters and downspouts are clogged, melted snow will have nowhere to go, which can then turn into ice dams. Before the snow arrives, clear out all the fallen leaves and debris from your hard-working gutters.
If you take these simple steps now, you should be able to successfully avoid ice dams this winter. Should you need help, though, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends at Ferguson Roofing! Call us today at (314) 521-6917 in Missouri or (618) 212-1912 in Illinois.