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Prevent Roof Ice Dams and Heat Loss with Proper Insulation

November 3, 2014

Proper insulation is the most effective preventative measure for avoiding the build up of ice dams.

 

If you had issues with ice dams last year, November may be your last chance to prevent higher energy bills this winter and avoid costly water damage caused by heat loss.

 

What are Ice Dams?

 

Ice dams are formed when heat escapes from the home and causes snow to melt. The water formed from heat loss then freezes as it flows down the roof, closer to cold edges, causing ice dams and icicles. This ice build-up can create a dangerous situation for homeowners and their visitors.

 

Ice dams can also be costly, as the ice can damage the roof and eavestrouphs or cause interior water damage.

 

Signs of Ice Dams

 

1.  Icicles or ice form on the edge of your roof or the front edge of your gutter.

2.  Ice or water comes through your soffit or forms behind your gutters.

3.  Ice or water on forms on exterior walls, or on door or window frames.

 

Common Causes of Ice Dams

 

The most common cause of ice dams is heat loss from attics, frequently caused by poor insulation.  25% of home heat loss occurs through the roof/attic. 

 

Home heat loss can also occur in the following areas:

  • More than 40% of all the heat lost in an average home is through the loft space and walls

  • Up to 45% of heat is lost through uninsulated solid walls

  • More heat is lost through walls than any other route – approximately 33% in an uninsulated home

  • Up to 20% heat loss is through doors and windows.

  • Up to 20% of all heat loss in the home is through ventilation and draughts.

         

 Source: National Insulation Association.

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Dam Prevention

 

Attics require proper insulation and ventilation to function correctly.  Your attic should have approximately 15-20 inches of insulation, in addition to adequate ventilation through soffits and at the top of the attic.  

 

Some recommendations for ice dam prevention may include:

  • Adding insulation or ventilation

  • Air sealing the attic floor

  • Locating problem heat loss areas 

Don't wait until you see visible ice dams this winter - call Georgian Insulation for a free consultation on roof ice prevention.

 

Georgian Insulation Systems, is Central Ontario's premium spray foam insulation contractor. We're recommended by leading custom home builders, commercial design/builders, architects, home inspectors and our many customers. We provide Polyurethane Spray foam, Cellulose, Fibreglas, Roxull, Fireproofing, Insulation Removal, concrete slab lifting with injected polyurethane and epoxy crack filling. Contact Us for a Free Quote - Or Call 1-866-576-9338.

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