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Roof Repair, Ice Dams, & Improper Ventilation

by Mike Powell

in Denver Roofing Contractors

Roof Ice Dam

How often do you really look at your roof during the year? This time of year, as you’re hanging Christmas lights outside, is a great time to really think about your roof.

In most cases, an attic area should be cold. Did you know the outside temperature and your attic temperature should be relatively similar?

At first, this may seem rather odd. However, allow me explain the facts of insulation and ventilation.

During the winter months, heat and humidity eventually make it from the living area to your attic space. When the warm moist air hits the cold underside of your roof, it can condense, and in essence rain back down onto your insulation … which decreases the insulating value, allowing more warm, moist air to escape into the attic.

This produces a downward spiral of inefficiency.

Additionally, the warm air in your attic melts the snow on your roof. It then runs down to the eaves where there is no heat and freezes. “Ice Damming” can then occur.

Ice damming can potentially cause serious roofing problems which not only cause a higher energy bill, can lead to mold and water damage, or premature aging of your shingles … which in turn can lead to expensive repairs.

In many cases, shingle warranties may be void if a roof isn’t properly ventilated.

One way to spot if your roof is properly ventilated is to go out early in the morning on a frosty day, and look at your roof from all angles. Your roof should be evenly frosted over. If there are areas where there’s no frost, and the sun hasn’t come up yet, chances are you need more or maybe just better ventilation.

Newer roofs are designed with proper ventilation, however if your roof was previously a different material like wood shake, the ventilation would have also needed to be changed.

Many people mistakenly cover their vents in the winter time, believing it will save on their heating bill. It can actually have the opposite affect!

So it’s vitally important to ventilate both in winter and summer.


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