Many homeowners in the Washington metropolitan area have experienced a winter storm condition called “ice damming.” Ice dams occur when a sequence of weather conditions take place during a brief time frame. Due to our relatively mild winters, the Washington area experiences this sequence of weather conditions usually only every three to five years.
What Causes My Home To Leak?
Why Does My Roof Not Keep The Water Out?
What Do I Do When An Ice Dam Happens?
What Can I Do To Prevent Ice Dams?
- Make sure your attic area has adequate insulation.
- Make sure your attic insulation does not cover your soffit air intake vents. Add soffit vents if your home currently does not have any.
- Make sure your attic area has sufficient air exhaust outlets (gable vents) and that the air flow is distributed throughout the attic space. Peak mounted ridgevents maximize air flow in attic areas.
- Products such as an ice and water protector can be installed at the eaves of the home and in valley areas under the shingles which will prevent water from entering the home unless it dams higher than the protection provides.
- Electric heat tapes can be installed in the gutter system or in extreme cases, can be installed on the lower sections of the roof to melt the ice before dams are formed.
Who Is Responsible For Ice Dams And The Resulting Leaks?
There are many products on the market to improve the capability of established homes to fend off ice dam leaks. Roofing contractors are able to provide an ever increasing number of products and information for re-roofing clients to choose from.
The final responsibility remains with the homeowner when re-roofing to weigh the cost of prevention and protection products against the possible cost of damage if an ice dam leak occurs.