“My attic has large ice-cycles forming on the eaves and we often get ice damming. Can this be fixed?”
In most cases, ice damming and ice-cycles are formed when either heat and/or moisture is flowing through the attic therefore melting the snow on the sheathing creating a melting/freezing again scenario which can cause very expensive damages to the house.
Can this be fixed? YES IT CAN!
The first thing we usually notice with attics is the poor levels of insulation but in most cases, this isn’t the main source of the problem. The issue is often linked to penetrations from the living areas of the house into the attic that allow moisture to flow through the attic. Let’s not forget that moisture will flow to where it is more dry therefore the attic usually gets the bulk of it.
Penetrations include exhaust fans venting in attics, attic hatches not being air tight, partition wall electrical penetrations, light fixtures, plumbing stacks and more.
Before each attic insulation job, our Greenfoot insulation team's walk through the attic sealing all penetrations they can find that is easily visible.
In very extreme cases yet somewhat common, we have performed the following tasks to ensure optimal air sealing which led to fix any ice damming or ice-cycles.
Step 1: Remove all insulation from attic (We have commercial vacuums for this so not to worry!)
Step 2: Add through vents in soffits to ensure proper air flow circulation.
Step 3: Spray foam 2” of closed cell polyurethane foam (R-12) directly onto ceiling from the attic to create a complete vapour barrier air tight seal to stop all moisture from flowing to attic.
Step 4: Add R-40 cellulose blown insulation on top of spray foam to give it a total of R-52.