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Ice Dams

How to Prevent Ice Dams

To prevent an ice dam, don’t heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly. Some remodeling contractors are under the impression that heat passing through the attic helps prevent ice dams, when just the opposite is true. Although excess heat moving from the attic through the roof rapidly melts snow, once the meltwater touches the cold eaves, it quickly freezes and forms an ice dam.

Site Factors and Your Cool Roof

Much has been written of late, both positive and negative, regarding cool roofing. Some recommend a cool or reflective roof for every structure on Earth, projecting energy consumption savings in the billions. A few even say that cool roofing is overhyped, and not only won’t deliver savings, but will lead to problems. To get at this topic in depth, GAF is the lead sponsor of Principia’s Energy Efficient Roofing 2013 conference, taking place this week.

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