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How to Prevent Ice Dams from Forming at Your Home and Causing Water Damage

An ice dam at the edge of your roof will prevent water from running off your home.Problems inside your home usually come from the outside world. 

Water damage creeps into your home through small cracks to cause major damage inside. All seasons of the year have the potential to lead your home to water infiltration. During the cold winter months, ice dams account for a lot of the water infiltration into homes. Keep reading this article to learn more about ice dams, why they are bad news for your home, and what you can do to prevent them from forming.

What is an Ice Dam?

Let’s start off with a description of what an ice dam is. Ice dams are pockets of ice that gathers near the edge of your roof. This blockade of ice will stop melting snow from running off your roof. The water has to go somewhere, though. Since it can’t run off your roof, the water runs INTO your roof and home causing water damage to the wood, support, attics, and any stored items below the ice dam.

1. Vent Your Eaves

Air getting trapped under your roof is a bad thing. A ridge vent will help circulate air under your roof. Having a baffle at your eaves can facilitate the path for the air to flow through your space and out the soffit vents. 

2. Proper Exhaust Paths

Make sure all your ductwork connects throughout your house. The ducts in your bathroom, kitchen, and from your dryer should lead outside through your roof or walls. Make sure the ducts do not path through the soffit.

3. Add Insulation to Your House

Save yourself some energy money while protecting your roof from water damage by working on your insulation. Insulation in your attic floor will help you keep your warm air where you need it - in your living space. Your community building department may be able to help you determine how much insulation your attic needs. 

4. Add Flashing Around Your Chimney(s)

Your roof should meet your chimney instead of the chimney jutting out of your roof. Connect the gap between your chimney and roof with an L-shaped steel flashing. You can use bead fire-stop sealant. Stay away from canned spray foam, it won’t protect you from fire damage. 

5. Caulk Any Gaps or Holes

Seal up as much as you can. Look for any electrical cables and vent pipes with holes around them. Add caulking here. A good trick is to look for any light that peeps through. If light can get through your roof,  air can get through. 

Prevent Ice Dams and Water Damage with Jarvis Construction

Ice dams are no joke and they can be tough to see. Once you have ice dams on your roof, you may get water damage pretty quickly. Jarvis Construction can help you set up your roof to prevent you from having water damage this winter. Our experienced crews will prep your roof to stop ice dams from forming so you can stay dry and warm inside.

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