New Roof with Ice Dam Protection

This house has a fairly deep soffit, a soffit or eave is the section of roof that protrudes past the wall of the house.  The area where the roof passes the wall of the house can be troublesome in winter, in the right conditions ice dams can occur. Ice dams happen when the roof is covered with at least 4″ of snow and the outside temperature is below freezing. Heat from the attic melts the snow from the underside, that water then rolls down the roof to the edge where it is confronted with a colder section at the eave; then the water refreezes at the edge of the roof near the gutter. Once this thaw/freeze cycle happens over a few days there begins to be a pile up of ice at the edge of the roof; the ice can get so high that the meltwater can’t get off the roof and begins to pool. The pool of water can then backup into the house, soaking everything below it.


Step one: we remove all the existing roofing and check the plywood roof deck for any rot.


Because this roof has a deep soffit we needed to install 72″ of ice and water shield to protect against ice dams. The lighter gray material close to the edge is the ice and water shield; its a self adhering membrane bonds to the plywood roof deck, once in place it acts like a waterproof liner in the event of harsh winter weather. Now the snow ice can pile up more than 25″ high (very unlikely) and my clients will be safe and dry in their home.


Once the drip edge, ice and water shield and felt paper are installed we can begin to install the shingles.


We cut back the roof decking to allow for a ridge vent, this will remove the hot moist air from the attic.


Matching caps over the ridge vent allow it to disappear. You may be able to notice that the caps look like they are hovering a half an inch over the peak of the roof, that is the airspace that the ridge vent requires to exhaust the attic.


New 16oz copper flashing was fabricated for the chimney, this will keep one of the most vulnerable points in the roof watertight.


Final cleanup, and we’re on our way to the next house . This roof is now ready to face the worst possible weather conditions.


There are a lot more steps than this; I just wanted to highlight the really important ones here. If your roof suffered through last winter you should take action now, I can come up with a plan for your house that will make snow something to look forward to instead of dreading.

Call me at (703) 299-8888


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