In colder weather, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your home's roof condition. Many homes experience damage from snow and ice during cold weather.
Keep your attic cold. Some believe an attic space should be warm in the winter. It is important to keep the attic as cold as possible. Heat causes the snow to melt and can form ice dams. When the snow is above 32 degrees it turns to water runs down the roof. When the water gets to the lower overhang no heat is present and it freezes turning to solid ice and icicles.
It is important to prevent ice dams from forming. Always allow heat to escape the attic space to keep the attic cold. Whether you use pan vents, ridge vents, turbine vent or any other venting method, proper venting keeps air moving and expels heat. Check the system and make sure the heat can’t build up in your attic spaces. See our past article on "Why Vent Your Roof"
The other half of the venting system is cool air intake. Sometime we forget to have soffit vents (the edge vents) or a gable vent to name a few items that bring in cool air. These vents bring in the cold air to keep our attic cold. There's a great diagram on our vent page.
Check your insulation. The home should stay warm, check the insulation between home living areas and attic. Keep the r value up to code for your state or city. Some colder states require more insulation to protect against the cold. It is vital that no hot air get into the attic and no cold attic air get into the home.
Don’t allow hot moist air into the attic, check your inside venting. All bathroom vents, kitchen vents and laundry vents need to vent to the outside, not into the attic because they pump hot moist air into our attic spaces. We often find this error when looking for the source of leaks. . . out of sight and out of mind . . . these venting mistakes cause homeowners thousands of dollars in damages every year.
Your heat source should be wrapped or boxed off, so no heat is expelled into the attic space. Newer homes may have a second furnace located in the attic. Recessed lights or canister lights tie off into the attic and produce heat. Check these unsuspected heat sources and make sure they are insulated and not putting unwanted heat in your attic.
Keep your gutter clean. Build up in gutters can contribute to ice dams and the weight can rip away gutters and fascia causing extensive damage. Leaks into the home can happen when the snow, ice and water wash back into the fascia, soffit or roof.
Don’t let ice dams build up on your roof. No more than 1 foot of snow should be on your roof. Remove snow and ice from your roof. Roof rakes can be used to remove the snow and ice, or better yet, call a professional to help. A Better Way Construction & Roofing wants your roof to function properly and last!