Two types of attic water damage are common in cold climates: ice dams and condensation of water vapor on cold surfaces in the attic.
Ice Dams. Ice dams sometimes occur on roofs in climates with freezing temperatures. When the temperature in your attic is above freezing while the temperature outside is below freezing, an ice dam may occur. The heat exchange from the underside of the roof sheathing causes the snow on the roof to melt. The water running down the roof may come into contact with an area that is super cooled. The roof overhang or eave is super cooled by the wind and ambient temperature. Once the water runs down to an area that is below 25 degrees, it will freeze.
Here’s the big problem. If the weather pattern repeats itself for a period of time, the snow melt forms an ice dam. This dam creates a pool of water that begins to climb upward and underneath of shingles potentially creating significant water damage.
The solution to minimize the impact of ice dams is for the roof and attic to be ventilated properly.
The attic air space is a volatile area. Over the past decades more testing and understanding of this critical area for a home healthy environment has occurred. We now have more revelation on how to minimize the effects of ice dams and potentially dangerous stagnant air.
What not to Do
Preventing damage is the first step, but roof repair might be necessary after you find snow or ice damage. Hire a contractor to remove snow from the roof before an ice dam forms. If you’re experiencing water damage from ice dams, have a roofer mitigate against further damage. We recommend the use of specialty equipment to remove ice dams. A roof steamer is the most effective way to remove ice dams. Count on our team for roof repair and preventive services.