When snow starts to melt on your roof but then refreezes elsewhere on the surface, an ice dam forms. When melting commences again, the moisture collects under the ice dam and then has the potential to seep underneath the protective outer-layer of your roof. The worst-case scenario involves this water then penetrating the interior layers of your home. The central offender in ice damming? Uneven heating of the roof’s surface. This is why ice dams most commonly form at the edges of roofs and form those picturesque but less-than-ideal icicles. While most of us are well-versed to ice damming in Bowmanville and the potential hazards, many myths about their nature and how to deal with them prevail. Here are some of the more common ones.
Myth: Ice dams need to be thick to cause a problem
Fact: How thick the ice dam needs to be in order to cause a problem is related to the steepness of the roof. The steeper the roof, the thicker the ice dam needs to be in order to cause damage. Low-pitched roofs are at risk from even thin ice dams.
Myth: You’ll immediately know if you have an ice dam problem
Fact: The water infiltration that ice dams can cause isn’t always immediately recognizable. Often times, water gets trapped in wall and ceiling cavities and/or caught behind a vapour barrier. The damage is still occurring, it’s simply hidden beneath the surface.
Myth: Ice dams are a problem caused by gutters
Fact: Gutters are not the culprit or even a factor. Ice dams can just as easily occur on roofs that don’t have gutters as they can on roofs that do have them.
Myth: Vast amounts of insulation are the best defence against ice dams
Fact: The old adage of quality not quantity holds true when it comes to insulation. However, quality includes not just the type of insulation used, but also the method of installation. Proper installation will allow for adequate ventilation. An over-abundance of insulation can result in poor airflow and therefore uneven heat distribution on your roof.
Myth: You can always see ice dams from the ground
Fact: Most—but not all—ice dams occur near the edges of roofs where they’re easy to spot. Those that don’t form near the overhang or eaves can be difficult to see from the ground as they tend to hide near skylights or dormers.
Durham’s Solution to Ice Damming
Achieving a consistent temperature across the entire surface of your roof is the best way to prevent ice damming in Bowmanville homes. At Durham Insulation, we can help by assessing the insulation in your attic and sealing any gaps. Contact us to today with any questions or to schedule a consultation.