Ice Dam Prevention

Don’t Let an Ice Dam Cause a Leaky Roof

Preventing ice dams from forming is the best method of protection against water damage and microbial growth during winter months. Ice dams can cause damage to roof materials like shingles, roof sheathing, exhaust and dome caps, chimneys, skylights, etc. Water from ice dams can intrude into living space, damaging your drywall, cabinets, furniture, and flooring. This can also lead to microbial growth if left undetected or untreated. Ice dams form when warm air from the house is transferred into the attic space and melts the snow that accumulates on the roof. As the water from melted snow travels down, it refreezes due to the cold air under the edge of the roof line.

There are a number of ways to mitigate ice dams, but the best technique to prevent them from occurring is to eliminate the transfer of heat from living space to attic. Improving ventilation and adding attic insulation are the best methods of preventing attics from becoming overly warm during the colder months. Another effective method is to install heat tape in the valleys and down at the eaves on your roof line. This heat tape will keep channels melted and allow melted snow to drain off the roof, preventing ice dams and water from intruding into the living space. It is not necessary to remove all of the ice, but creating channels for excess water help to properly drain through roof and downspouts, preventing ice dams from causing interior damage and microbial growth.

It is imperative that your attic is properly vented. If your attic is breathing properly, it will exhaust excess moisture and heat to the outside, thus preventing condensation from forming and snow from melting due to heat being trapped in attic space.

Having adequate attic insulation is also a key component in the prevention of microbial growth, moisture, and ice dams. As you heat your home during the colder months, attic insulation traps that heat in the living space. This promotes energy efficiency reducing energy costs, along with keeping the attic space from heating up. If your attic space becomes overly warm, the temperature differential causes condensation to form on building materials followed by microbial growth.

Mountain Air Indoors, Inc. specializes in mold removal, reconstruction services, and more to help Central Oregon homes achieve a safe, healthy result. Our home renovation team can assist with ice dam removal services to ensure you are happy with the outcome.

Our Service:

  1. Customer schedules an evaluation of attic and roof (Let our evaluator know if ice dams have been a problem in the past and where).
  2. Mountain Air Indoors, Inc. will evaluate the attic for proper insulation, vents, and bath fan routing (all things that can allow heat to enter attic space and contribute to forming of ice dams).
  3. Our home improvement team will evaluate the roof, paying special attention to the eave overhangs, ridge vents, valleys, and north-facing areas (all areas that are most susceptible to ice dam formation).
  4. We will provide the customer with a detailed estimate for any recommended attic repairs, including external installation of heat tape along eaves, gutters, downspouts, valleys, and around skylights and dome vents (the heat tape is billed by time and materials).
  5. The customer has two options for turning on heat tape.
    • Plug in cord manually when temp is below specified temperature and there is significant amount of snow on the roof.
    • Purchase a smart switch that will allow customer to cycle heat tape on remotely using smart phone.
      • Note: Only turn on tape when needed under optimum conditions as it will become inoperable if not used as specified by manufacturer.
  6. Added Bonus: Clients who utilize our ice dam prevention system will be prioritized if they need our services during a severe storms.

Ice Dam Removal:

If, in the off chance that ice dams do form despite the preventative measures, or if you did not complete the ice dam preventions system, we have a method for removing ice dams and preventing them from allowing water to enter the home. This can be done safely using a three-step process that involves liquid heat, a non-toxic chemical that is safe for the roof surface and for plants, pets, and people.

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