Redfin - The Modern Way to Buy or Sell a Home, recently asked - Richard Szpytek, Vice President of Feze Roofing, Inc. this question.
Feze Roofing Answer: “Ice damming is the buildup of ice and snow on steep sloped roofs. When snow melts on your roof and then refreezes as temperatures drop, the ice pushes its way under your shingles and lifts them up as it expands. Ice damming can result in roof leaks, damage to your insulation, and water penetration into your home.
"The best way to prevent ice-damming and other winter-related issues for your roof is to keep your roof cold. A difference in temperature between the cold outside air and the warmth of your home is a contributing factor for ice issues. Before winter weather arrives, make sure that you have good insulation in your attic. You should also locate and seal any places in your attic where cold air seeps in. If you are planning to replace your roof in the future, you should install ice and weather shield minimally 24 inches into the warm wall. For maximum weather protection, we recommend you install ice and weather shield six feet high along the gutter edge and three feet wide down the center of the valleys. Ice and weather shield is a leak barrier installed under your shingles. This product can prevent leaks caused by wind driven rain and ice-damming."
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