Prepare yourself for one of the great injustices of home performance:
The same problems that cause dangerous, damaging ice dams in winter can also make your home unbearably hot all summer. Take a look:
Ice dams form when snow melts on your roof, drains down toward the eaves, and refreezes into icicles – or backs up under your shingles and into your house. Some snowmelt is inevitable, but most can be avoided if you keep your roof and attic cool. How? Air seal and insulate to keep heat from leaking from your living space into your attic, and ventilate to let any warm attic air escape quickly.
Fast-forward to summer, when the sun bakes your roof all day and your attic acts like a giant radiator all night. (Just look at the infrared image at left: those yellow stripes are bands of heat radiating down from an uninsulated attic!)
Hot attic air is inevitable, but home performance offers a way to keep your home comfortable: air seal and insulate – this time to keep heat from leaking in to your living space instead of out.
The upside to all of this is that the same set of solutions will solve both problems, and no matter when you invest in air sealing and insulation, you’ll notice the impact right away.