Nights in Central Massachusetts are getting nippy and the area’s first snows can occur at any time now. After last year’s horrendous cold and snow loads, many Sutton and Dudley homeowners are probably wondering how to protect their roof from winter ice dam issues. LJ Construction offers the following tips for preventing ice dams on your Worcester area roof.
First, ensure that there is sufficient attic insulation in your home. Ice dams form when the roof surface warms enough to melt snowloads on the roof during the day. At night or in colder temperatures, this meltwater can then refreeze at your eaves, creating a “dam” which traps subsequent water and allows it to back up and flow underneath your shingles. Proper attic insulation prevents your home’s interior heat from leaking into the attic (also saving on your heating bills).
Second, be sure that your roof has adequate venting installed. Massachusetts building code calls for 1 square foot of free ventilation area for every 300 square feet of attic floor area. With cold outside air circulating through the attic, snowloads on your roof are less likely to melt and create ice dams. (See our guide to roof venting for more information.)
Finally, if you have to replace your old roof, consider the benefits of a metal roof. The relatively slippery surface sheds significantly more snow than standard asphalt shingles. Furthermore, the vertical seams of a standing seam metal roof system are much less prone to water intrusion and leakage.
If you suspect that your Worcester area roof lacks adequate venting or is susceptible to ice dam backups or are thinking about installing a metal roof, contact LJ Construction today for a free site visit and estimate.