What Role Does Architecture Play In Causing Ice Dams?

Posted by Greg Bublitz Thursday, May 11, 2017 8:57:00 AM

Architecture and Ice Dams

The common consensus has been that ice dams are caused by warm attics. So, the logical solutions is cool the attic down. Insulate and ventilate. And, for some homes with inadequate levels of either, that can go a long way in solving ice dams on the roof. Of course, air sealing is absolutely necessary as well - this being a first step or the most important thing you can do.

Newer homes shouldn't have ice dams then, right? With advanced building codes and construction practices requiring proper levels of insulation and ventilation along with air tight ceiling barriers, ice dams should be a thing of the past. But they aren't. We have seen an influx of requests on newly built homes along with homes in the design phase looking for roof and gutter ice dam prevention systems. Why? Architecture.

Architecturely appealing homes often have gables and valleys that create real issues. Larger roof sections are funneled down to a small gutter section and these are often shaded. To make matters worse, this situation occurs over the front entry creating a hazard for guests coming to the home and an unsightly mess for all to see.

It is easy to see why the home pictured here is going to have problems. All of the massive amount of roof is funneled to a small gutter area. Compounding the problem is the corners (or gutter miters) which create areas where the water flow will be restricted. No amount of additional insulation or ventilation is going to solve this roof and gutter ice dam problem problem. It purely architectural.

The project pictured here had a similar problem. For years, the homeowners had to continually salt the side Roof and Gutter Ice Dam Prevention System Heated Gutter Guard and Heated Valley Panelswalk leading to the front entry because of the dangerous ice build up resulting from the constant dripping from the roof and gutter edge. The large roof area was directed down to the short gutter run at the front entry. Two valleys, short gutter, freezing temps, snow on the roof = ice dam problems. This was a newer home built to code and they still had problems. What was done to fix this issue?

Roof and gutter ice prevention system was the only real solution.

After battling this problem for several years, the owner opted to have a heated gutter guard and heated valley panels installed. The system was the VersaScreen MaxPro and EMS VP-MW (heated valley panels for metal W valleys). He coupled that with the DC Flex digital controller for worry free operation. How did it work out for him? Here is his testimonial from the installing contractor...

Just wanted to let you know how well the work that you did at our Trillium Lane, Slinger property last fall is working. I am beyond pleased halfway thru winter. We have had zero ice buildup thus far. After battling ice dams in three homes over near 40 years of home ownership, this is the first time I believe we have a solution. Might be the best $$$ I ever spent.

Thanks again. And please feel free to use me as a reference or testimonial to the fact this does in fact take care of ice dam problems.

Whether your ice dam problems are caused by what's going on inside OR outside of your home, we have the solution. Our systems are designed to STOP ice dams and icicles before they form. We have the most comprehensive line of products for whatever your home or business requires. 

Contact us for more information 888-360-7872