Most of your home’s heat loss is through the attic. As the heat escapes into the attic, it can warm the roof, and this will contribute to your problems with ice dams. By ensuring that you attic is sufficiently insulated against heat loss, you can take a big step toward preventing ice dams.
Vent the Attic
Attic vents can be another effective means by which ice dams can be prevented. Some heat is always going to escape into the attic, but vents will allow cold exterior air in and warm air from the interior out. This will help to prevent the roof from gaining heat and it will regulate the temperature in the attic.
Seal the Gaps
Aside from just rising up through the ceiling, there is another way that heat gets into the attic. If you find gaps where things like vents, electrical cables and pipes run into the attic, you should seal them off with a fire-stop sealant. As an additional point, if you have any heating ducts in the attic, you should make sure they are adequately insulated and that all of the joints are properly taped.
Check the Attic Access
The attic access can be another culprit when it comes to heat loss. In many cases, it isn’t much more than a board that fits in to cover the hatch. If you want to reduce heat loss and prevent ice dams, you should insulate the attic access cover and seal around the trim with weather stripping.
You might not be able to see the ice dams on your roof, but they could cause some serious damage if you do nothing to prevent them. By following some of these tips, you can prevent ice dams and the potential water damage they can cause. As an additional benefit, many of these steps will save you money on home heating by reducing heat loss into the attic.