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Proper Ventilation Prevents Ice Dams

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 by Jamie Kirkland


It’s that time of year again! The air is cooler, and the snow is coming sooner than later. Is your roof prepared for the freeze?

Proper roof ventilation works when attic air is moving. Air can be moved mechanically which requires a power source. However, the natural and most common method of moving the air is a roof system that has an air intake and an air exhaust. Installed properly, cool air enters through the intake, and hot air rises or escapes through the exhaust. Without an exhaust and intake, hot air will not escape.

The most common type of exhaust vents are ridge vents. These vents are installed at the peak of your roof. With proper ventilation, the hot air rises from these vents. The wind rolling over ridge vents will actually pull the hot air out of the vents.

Intake vents are commonly soffit vents under the eaves of your roof. Cool air enters these vents and pushes the hot air up through the ridge vents.

Proper Ventilation Prevents Ice Dams - Image 1 

So what does this have to do with your roof and ice dams? To answer this, we need to determine how an ice dam forms.

Hot air trapped in your attic heats the roof from underneath which melts the snow on the roof. The melting snow falls to the lower edges of the roof where the roof is cooler, such as the overhang. The snow melts, then refreezes, creating a dam of ice. The dam grows and then gets under the shingles which creates pressure to pull apart the shingles. This creates an entry point for moisture as the ice dam melts causing damage to your roof as well as the inside of your home. The moisture from ice dams will shorten the life of your roof as well as damage your walls and ceilings.

Proper Ventilation Prevents Ice Dams - Image 2 

A properly ventilated home allows the hot air to escape, keeping the attic and roof cooler. This prevents the thawing and freezing cycle which, in turn, prevents ice dams from occurring. A properly ventilated home is easy to spot. Snow is on the roof, but no icicles can be found. Icicles are fun for children, but are devastating for a home.

Proper Ventilation Prevents Ice Dams - Image 3 

Whether you are a business or residential customer, ice is a threat to both a flat and a steep roof. RJK Roofing Solutions offers a complete roofing solution which includes a ventilation system recommended by the manufacturer. Proper ventilation is the best way to protect your roof and your home. Call RJK today for your free estimate!

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RJK Roofing Solutions
4964 Campbell Rd
Willoughby, OH 44094
1-440-754-0545
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