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How To Keep Your Roof Protected From Ice Dams


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Does your roof look like this right now?

When Winter temperatures rise and drop, it leaves your home at risk for ice dams. Novalis offers a solution to put your winter worries at ease!

Ice dams, icicles, and snow loads may look nice, but they can cause significant problems for your roof, and the rest of your home. This beautiful, yet complex roof had ice dams and snow cover which were not melting properly due to the architecture of the roof and the minimal 3ft underlayment installed by a previous contractor. Novalis’ standard underlayment is 6 ft.

How Are Ice Dams Formed?

Ice dams are formed from Heat loss from a house, snow cover, and when outside temperatures interact to form ice dams. The dam will also form when indoor heating rises through the ceiling into the attic and warms the roof’s surface. This typically occurs when there is little underlayment, no intake air system, and poor insulation causing warm air from the house to rise into the attic.

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How Can Ice Dams Be Prevented?

Novalis can help you prevent this by installing De-icer cables! De-icer cables are a temporary fix that will heat the roof around the edge allowing snow to melt and drain off into the gutters properly without ice forming and backing up under your shingles and underlayment. Heat cables are electric heating cords installed along the edge of a roofline and throughout the gutters, which can certainly help a home that struggles with ice dams.

The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, kitchen cabinets, insulation, and other areas. Ice dams can also rot your fascia and soffits along with breaking off your gutters.

Since De-icer cables are a temporary fix, a permanent fix would be a new roofing system, especially if your home’s roof is getting up there in age. Novalis will install 6 ft of ice and water shield and add ventilation so no more ice damming will occur.

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This home had water leakage inside their walls and ceiling due to the ice dams severely affecting the roof. Being that a lot of homes are built with only 3ft (1 roll) of underlayment, Novalis chooses to use 6ft (2 rolls) of underlayment when we re-roof because it is extremely important to us to go that extra inch to cover your home in any situation.

In this situation, we repaired the leak and returned later in the year to replace the section of the damaged roof and install de-icer cables.

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Learn More with Novalis

To read more about why Novalis chooses to use 6 ft of underlayment and its importance, check out our infographic and article titled: “Why 6 ft of Ice and Water shield is standard for Novalis Roofing & Siding”. Contact us to learn more about what Novalis can do to stop ice dams from forming!

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