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How to Prevent Ice Dams

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Richard in Ohio is dealing with ice damming. Tell us what’s going on.

    RICHARD: Every winter and whenever we have some freezing rain and it – I always end up with ice dams. Now, I’ve had more insulation blown into my attic. I have about – probably a good 20 inches of insulation blown into my attic. I do have the panels that go in between your roof rafters – your rafters – that make sure my soffits are getting plenty of air. And no matter what I do, I still end up with ice dams and then I’ve had leak where the water’s backed up and started leaking into – well, into one of my closets.

    TOM: Well, the number one way to prevent ice dams is with Ice & Water Shield.


    TOM: So, obviously, you don’t have that under your roof shingles but that would …

    RICHARD: No, I need to put on a new roof, probably, here in the next couple years. My roof had …

    TOM: Yeah, that would be the solution. What I would use is Grace Ice & Water Shield and it’s a material that’s about 3 feet wide.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Because it only goes on that first 3 feet of your roof.

    TOM: Right. It goes from that first edge on up and it’s designed – if the water does get trapped at the gutter edge there and backs up, it can’t get in the roof. It just can’t. Can’t get through the Ice & Water Shield.

    LESLIE: Because it’s like a rubberized membrane.

    TOM: Yeah.

    RICHARD: Exactly, yeah. I saw – I’ve seen the product but do I need to add any more ventilation to my roof? I only have two hats. I have a hip roof and it’s a ranch home.

    TOM: Yeah, hip roofs are difficult to vent. What you want to do is – what’s your soffit vents look like? Are they continuously opened?

    RICHARD: Yes, I have continuous, open soffits. I have 2-foot soffits and they’re vented.

    TOM: And they’re all vented? OK, so that’s good. So, how much ridge do you have on this hip roof?

    RICHARD: Probably 24 feet.

    TOM: OK. So what I would do is I would add a ridge vent to that 24-foot section.


    TOM: That’ll really open that up and then with the soffit vents and the ridge vents, they’ll work together to depressurize the ridge and positively pressurize the soffit. The air will run in the soffit, up under the sheathing and out. That plus the Ice & Water Shield should make this problem go away permanently, Rich.

    RICHARD: Well, thank you very much for your information.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Richard. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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