Ice dams can be more than just a hassle for home owners.


Ice dams are more than just an irritation, they cause damage to the roof and shingles as wells as leaks, mold and water damage inside the home.We asked the experts at Olympic Roofing to find out why ice dams occur and what we can do to prevent them.“Most of the time, if you have ice dams, you also have a warm attic,” says George Vasiliades, company owner. He goes on to explain that having an attic that is improperly insulted or not vented correctly causes it to retain the heat that rises from inside the living quarters. “When snow lands on the roof, it’ll melt,” he says, “and when the water reaches the edges of the roof, where it’s much cooler, it will refreeze and become ice. That ice slowly builds up and what you have then is a … [Read more...]

Avoid costly repairs and safety hazards by removing snow from roofs.


Winter has arrived in New England with plunging temperatures and snow showers. For most homeowners, removing snow from their roof during the winter is unnecessary but if the season brings heavy snowfall - especially if it’s followed by rain - removing snow is a necessity to avoid damage to the roof, leaks, roof collapse or heavy snow falling from the roof and injuring people.Some residential homes and many commercial buildings have flat roofs that are designed to withstand the weight load brought on by heavy snow. But when winter throws more snow at a building than it was designed for it will need to be removed.A flat roof may be shoveled but it is important to identify the material that covers the roof before doing so or you will … [Read more...]

Is Roof Mold a Ventilation Issue?


Q. Our roof was replaced after a hail storm in 2010 by an out-of-state contractor who worked on several homes in our neighborhood. After a few years I noticed black mold growing on the underside of the plywood on the back side of roof. The front side has no mold. The sun rises in the front of home and sets in the back. I believe the home faces southeast. A few contractors have said it may be a ventilation isse, but that hasn’t changed in the last 23 years we owned the home. I notice water drips on the nails in winter that have come through the plywood and that the plywood is damp on the back side of house. I had a mold remediation company give me an estimate to rid the mold, but am concerned that it will grow back unless the root of … [Read more...]

Venting Frustrations – Part 2

Q.How do you ensure you have adequate gable or soffit-to-ridge ventilation and what kind of company would I hire to asses that? The only problem with ridge vents is that they don’t work when covered with snow and ice, as mine are for the first time in 18 years. How are cathedral ceilings vented?A.The snow will quickly melt at the ridge, so no worry there. A cathedral or vaulted roof has no separate attic to vent, but air circulation is still necessary. Venting this space is done by installing soffit vents, a continuous ridge vent, and then connecting the two with a series of baffle vents, installed within each rafter bay. In a vaulted roof, the soffit vent serves as an intake, and the ridge vent functions as the outtake, or exhaust … [Read more...]

Venting Frustrations

Q.We live in a Colonial with two dormers. When we have high winds, light, powdery snow will blow in through the soffit vents into the unfinished attic. When the snow melts, we have (small) leaks and water stains. How do we keep it out?A.I used to have similar leaks until I installed baffle vents and a plywood subfloor. After installing the plywood, any snow that blew in landed on the floor, melted and eventually evaporated. Baffle vents are also called rafter baffles, attic baffles, channel vents, vent chutes, proper vents, and a boatload of other names. Try this: install Styrofoam rafter baffles and seal them in place. You’ll need to crawl to the end of the eave to access this area and insert the baffle into the rafter bay, … [Read more...]

Ice Dams be Gone!


New Englander's can breath a sign of relief this spring there is a product on the market that offers a solution to the catastrophic ice dam problem that nearly every home/business owner in New England faced this past winter.  Olympic will soon be offering a radiant roof melting system from Heated Roof Systems Inc. This inovative technology uses a concealed snow melt 'Roof Rescue Mat' placed under the roofing material. The system works with asphalt, synthetic slate and shake shingles. For more information on this exclusive technology check out the manufacturer's website at: … [Read more...]

Breaking up Ice Dams

If there is snow pack on your roof it is virtually impossible to not have ice dams. While there are ways that we can help you to prevent ice dams in the future it is too late for that this season. With warmer days coming our way, it is wise to use preventative measures in terms of trying to control where the water runoff will go. If the water is blocked by the ice dams it will find a way into your home but if you create channels for the water to flow through, your walls and ceilings may be spared. There are a number of ways that it can be done, most of which involve manual labor. Whether you target areas with ice melt or use an axe or a reverberating hammer drill to break through the ice, it is imperative to create channels for the water to … [Read more...]

How to Melt Ice Dams


New Englander's already know about the damaging effects of ice dams and, at this point, there isn't a gutter in the Northeast that is free of ice. As the weather begins to warm, water runoff from the roof will be trapped by the dam and routed back up the roof finding its way under shingles and into the house. A permanent solution for ice dam formation likely requires adding insulation, sealing, and ventilation in the attic. In the meantime, here's a trick that will help to lessen the damage from the existing ice dams.Fill the leg of a pair of nylon hosiery with ice melt - calcium chloride. This will minimize the amount of ice melt is use, is easy to use and minimizing the mess. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and … [Read more...]

Roof Snow be Damned!


Mother nature has dumped nearly 6 feet of snow on much of New England over the past three weeks and now, to add insult to injury, there rain in the forecast. Rain is a threat to the snow packed roofs which will soak up the moisture and possibly cause roofs to buckle under the added weight.What should a home or business owner do to ward off a roof collapse and further damage from ice dam build up?Home or business owners with a flat roof or a slightly pitched roof should make every effort to remove the snow weight prior to the warmer temperatures and precipitation. Whether you invest in a roof rake or enlist the help of a professional to handle the job, it is imperative that the snow pack be removed. Insurance claims have been piling … [Read more...]