Brad Diepholz talks about “Attic Ventilation”-part 6

Services for Real Estate Pros with HCS Restoration and Roofing, LLC


Brad Diepholz found the following information.


In this blog I will continue talking about dealing with the effects of ice dams. The greatest damage occurs when the water pooling inside the dam begins to infiltrate under the shingles.


The shingles themselves are damaged if not destroyed. Far more serious is the damage caused at the plateline area. Insulation can be soaked reducing its effectiveness.


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Water also can infiltrate into both exterior and interior wall cavities leading to structural damage and the deterioration of painted surfaces. At the very least mold and mildew can form creating unpleasant odors and mold spores resulting in poor indoor air quality.

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Proper attic ventilation helps solve ice dam problems. When homeowners set out to eliminate ice dams their typical response is to add more insulation in the attic. But no amount of insulation if used alone can eliminate the formation of ice dams.


An efficient attic ventilation system must be part of any solution. A properly designed ventilation system creates a cold roof. This is where the roof temperature is equalized from top to bottom.


An equalized roof temperature helps eliminate the conditions that leads to the formation of ice dams. By allowing a flow of air to sweep along the underside of the roof sheating creates a cold roof. This minimizes the roof temperature differences.


Something to remember is that ventilation alone is not a complete solution. For maximum comfort, reduced structural damage and optimum energy conservation, ventilation must be used with a waterproofing shingle underlayment and insulation.


Ample insulation is required to minimize heat losses. High efficiency air movement is required to remove any heat that enters the attic. To recap, a good defense against ice dams:

1. Install adequate attic ventilation. Because ice dams form when a roof has a warm upper surface and a cold lower surface.

2. Install adequate attic insulation. Attic insulation serves as two purposes. First it reduces heat loss. Second it diminishes the energy impact of having cold air flow through the attic.

3. Install a waterproofing shingle underlayment. This is also called ice and water shield.


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