How Proper Attic Ventilation Can Help Prevent Ice Dams this Winter

Here in Minnesota, we get quite the snow-filled winter. And, with our unpredictable weather and temperatures, we are at a high risk of getting ice dams. An ice dam is a build-up of ice on the eaves of roofs that results from melting snow under a snow pack. Freezing at the eave impedes the drainage of meltwater, which adds to the ice dam and causes backup of the meltwater, which may cause water leakage and damage the home. Dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your home. But, don’t fret! There are ways to prevent ice dams; one solution being proper attic ventilation. As the experts in attic ventilation for St Michael and the surrounding areas, we would like to tell you more about what ice dams are and how to prevent them.

attic ventilation st micheal

So, what causes ice dams? When all three of the following conditions occur, ice dams can form quickly:

  • Warm air rising to the peak of the attic causing snow to melt and flow to the eave.
  • Cold air at the lower part of the roof.
  • Heavy snow coverage on the roof, acting as a layer of insulation preventing heat loss. 

When the melted water at the eave refreezes, it allows the water to backup thus causing ice dams. 

How can you prevent this? Proper attic ventilation can prevent ice dams. There are two main purposes of attic ventilation; to protect against damage to your structure and to reduce energy usage. Ventilation during the winter helps to reduce moisture as well as keeps attics dry and at an even temperature. During the winter, the warm air from the home below transfers into the attic and if it isn’t released via proper ventilation, it can cause problems.

What can you do? Have proper attic ventilation installed by professionals like this at Lewis Insulation. We can install the most efficient and effective attic ventilation systems. It is also important to install proper attic insulation. This helps prevent heat loss from the living areas and diminishes the energy impact of having cold air flow through the attic.

And remember, do not use an axe or ice pick on your roof if ice dams do occur. This can cause bodily injury and/or roof damage. After a snow fall, remove the snow off the roof with a roof rake. And, if you do notice ice dams forming, contact attic ventilation and insulation experts like us who can assess the situation and recommend a plan of action.

Are you interested in learning more about attic ventilation for your St. Michael area home? Call us at Lewis Insulation at 763-477-2612, or you can contact us to set up a Free Estimate.