Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Ice dams form from a combination of temperature fluctuations and having a hot attic/roof. When there is no barrier between the cold and warm air coming up from inside your home, your roof will have a difficult time properly ventilating or insulating the roof deck. We all know Alaska has some weird winter patterns. The temperature is constantly fluctuating, causing ice dams to form. You will want to keep an eye on your roof during the winter with these fluctuations.
The perfect conditions for ice dams to form come from when the temperature is barely above freezing during the day and then freezing at night. This makes the snow melt and refreeze constantly, forming ice dams very quickly. Ways to help prevent this is to keep the snow off the roof as much as you can, so there is nothing there to thaw and refreeze. The sun can also melt snow below freezing temperatures during the day and then at night when everything freezes, ice dams start to form.
Lastly, ice dams can form from your home not being energy efficient. Some things that contribute to energy inefficiency:
-Not enough insulation in the attic/roof
-Not enough ventilation in the attic/roof
-Poorly insulated areas; light fixtures, outlets, attic doors, etc.
That is what I call the ice dam process- snow melts on your roof and refreezes. Ice dams form at the bottom of the roof and work their way up as this process continues. Ice dams can cause leaks in your roof because the melting water can’t escape. The leaks can cause some serious damage to the inside of the home. The best thing to do to prevent ice dams and roof leaks, is to talk to a good roofing company and get some recommendations and keep the snow off your roof. Is this something you have noticed on your home throughout the winter? Comment below!
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