Ice Dams and Roof Leaks

How Spray Foam Can Help with Ice Dams and Roof Leaks

February’s ice storms are finally behind us, but that doesn’t mean the cold weather is over just yet. Then, of course, we have the rain to look forward to this summer. (If you or your clients have photos of the ice dams, we would love to see them to offer our observations of what is going on.)

The roofs on homes and businesses alike are really taking a beating from Mother Nature. If your home had an ice dam or if the roof suffered any type of damage from the heavy snow or tree branches, then you may be dealing with roof leaks.

How to Weather Roof Leaks

Many people are unaware that they even have a roof leak until the water starts dripping from the ceiling. By the time this happens, the leak could have caused substantial damage to the wood frame of the roof, attic insulation, items in the attic (if you have anything stored there), and the sheetrock on the ceiling in the room(s) below.

One of the best ways to deal with roof leaks from Ice Dams is installing spray foam.

You might have considered spray foam only in terms of insulation, but did you know that while spray foam is an air barrier, open cell spray foam allows the water from leaking roofs (from damage to the shingles since there won’t be anymore ice dams) to drain without causing huge amounts of damage?

Spray Foam and Leaking Roofs

If your home has the typical pink fiberglass insulation and the roof should begin to leak, you will have a real mess on your hands.

While there’s no doubt that the insulation will become wet, it also becomes a sopping wet, useless mess that will only spread the moisture further along the floor of the attic (and the ceiling below). Once you discover the leak, all the insulation will need to be removed and disposed of. What a mess!

If the roof should begin leaking from a wind storm or other damage and the attic is filled with open cell spray foam, however, the water will drain straight through the material, without spreading a great deal. This makes finding the leak easier.

After the leak has been repaired, the open cell spray foam will dry fairly quickly. Read that again. The spray foam will simply dry out. It won’t degrade, it won’t warp or clump, and it won’t need to be replaced, unlike fiberglass.

Spray Foam Controls Air Leaks

There is a substantial reduction in energy costs when homes are sealed using spray foam. The primary source of heat loss is via the attic. Even small cracks and spaces can allow hot air to escape.

Spray foam doesn’t just seal “most” cracks, it seals all cracks, crevices, pinpoint holes, and other spaces where hot air can leak out and cold air can find a way in.

Spray Foam is Environmentally Friendly

Fiberglass insulation will need to be replaced if it becomes saturated. That’s a whole lot of material being added to our landfills.
However, once dry, spray foam insulation contains no dangerous chemicals or fumes. It causes no corrosion to metal or wood and it lasts for decades.
Spray foam needs no replacement, no maintenance, and your costs due to roof leaks are substantially reduced.

If your home has the typical pink fiberglass insulation and the roof should begin to leak, you will have a real mess on your hands.

What About Mold?

Spray foam insulation is incredibly mold and mildew-resistant. Even if the moisture content of the insulation and roof should reach 18 percent, spray foam will dry out without allowing mold or mildew to form.

Hot air can hold a great deal of moisture. When moist hot air from your home escapes into the attic and comes into contact with the cold air on the underside of the roof, this can allow condensation to form, which is the perfect breeding area for mold and mildew. When an airtight seal is provided by spray foam, the hot air in the attic stays in a confined space, preventing it from reaching the cold areas on the roof.

If there are prolonged leaks from the roof, where the wood frame of the roof is unable to dry out, it may cause damage to the wood itself, but the interior would stay mold and mildew free if spray foam is the insulation of choice.

Spray Foam Insulation is Superior to All Others

When you use spray foam insulation along the underside of the roof, it serves not only as a thermal and vapor control layer, but it provides an air tight seal that is permanent.

Spray foam insulation will not leak, crack, crumble, degrade, deform, warp, collapse, or twist. Once it is fully dry, it creates an airtight seal that fills in tiny cracks and spaces, making your attic fully sealed so that heated or cooled air inside does not escape outside, as well as the reverse.

Other variables go into using spray foam, such as ventilation, which is why you should always use a licensed professional, such as Chicago Green, and not use one of the DIY kits you find in the local home improvement stores.

Things to Consider

Climate change is very real, and it isn’t going away. This could mean that our winters will become even colder and our summers hotter, as well as wetter.

Energy prices for heating and cooling your home will only increase as time goes on. I wouldn’t count on them becoming cheaper, that’s for certain.

The best way to protect yourself from roof leaks and rising energy costs is to install spray foam insulation.

The cold winter weather is heading out the door, but those muggy days and rain are not that far away. Is your home ready?

You can easily recoup the expenses of spray foam insulation, depending on the size of your home, your lifestyle, and the construction of your home. If you want to know how quickly you can recoup your investment and start saving some serious cash, call and speak to one of our professionals.

Why wait? As I always say, Comfort is only a FOAM CALL AWAY! Call us today so you can start saving money and be super comfortable while you sock away that cash and rest peacefully in your home as you know it is protected from Mother Nature’s fury!

Call the professionals at Chicago Green Spray Foam Insulation. You and your wallet will be happy you did.

About the Author, Tom Decker

With ten years of experience selling spray foam insulation in Chicago, Tom Decker is THE person to call and the Chicago Green Insulation is the organization to hire when you are looking for top notch quality and performance as well as someone who can deal with the needs of code officials, home owners and general contractors. Call the others in Chicago, if you are interested in the cheapest price, call Chicago Green Insulation if you are interested in using your dollars to make Chicago a better city for all of us!

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