The Ultimate Solution to Ice Dams: Insulated Cool Roofs

 

One of the biggest home problems that homeowners face in Park City during the winter is ice dams. Ice dams are massive blocks of ice that form on the eave of your roof and can expend to the ground. These ice dams often weigh multiple hundreds of pounds and are very dangerous.

Often, ice dam issues are combated with heat cable, which does a great job of eliminating ice dam issues. While that is a good solution to this problem, the real root of the issue is how a home is insulated.

IMPROPER INSULATION CAUSES ICE DAMS

Ice dams form from a complex interaction between the amount of heat loss from your home, the outside temperature, and snow cover.

For ice dams to form you need there to be snow on a roof, the outside temperature must be below 32 degrees F on average, and the higher portions of your roof must be above 32 degrees F.

When these three factors happen in harmony over sustained periods, ice dams form.

As the snow on your roof begins to melt at the top where the surface temperature is above 32 degrees F, it melts to the bottom of the roof that is below 32 degrees and freezes.

This happens because heat rises and your home is losing heat through the roof due to poor insulation. This causes the areas above your living area to heat up while the eaves or edges of your roof that extend beyond the indoor living area maintain the outdoor temperature.

As this happens over and over, the ice dam builds in size and the potential dangers grow.

THE SOLUTION: SUPER-INSULATED COOL ROOFS

To permanently solve ice dams without the need for heat cable insulation needs to be added to the roof of a home.

The insulation could be improved on the inside of your roof, but this usually requires having your entire ceiling uninstalled and then reinstalled.

The better solution is placing the insulation on the outside of your roof with an insulated cool roof.

You can think of a super-insulated system almost like having another roof on your home. Insulated systems are installed above your existing roofing deck & improve the insulation of your roof.

The added insulation keeps your entire roof cool and does away with hot spots over the living area.

By adding insulation over your roof, you can prevent ice dam conditions from ever occurring.

Super-insulated systems also have the benefit of not requiring power, unlike heat cable solutions. This means that super-insulated systems are more environmentally friendly and won’t run up your bill every winter.

CONCLUSION

Many homeowners in Park City face ice dam problems. Ice dam problems are caused by improper insulation that makes the roof area above living areas heat up; causing snow to melt into water, run to the edge of the roof and freeze.

Heat cable is a popular solution in Park City for solving ice dam issues, but the ultimate solution that is more environmentally friendly are insulated cool roofs.

Insulated cool roofs add insulation to the outside of your roof deck and eliminate the conditions that cause ice dams to form in the first place.

 
Randy Jimenez