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BETEC Webinar to Address the Cold Hard Facts About Ice Dams on Roofs

Thursday, May 07, 2015  
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The National Institute of Building Sciences Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) will hold a webinar on an issue of major concern after this winter’s extended cold season: roof leaks due to ice dams. The webinar, “The Cold Hard Facts About Ice Dams on Roofs,” will be held Friday, May 29, 2015, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm, EDT.

Many areas of the United States experienced an extended cold weather season during the winter of 2015. In the Northeast, and particularly Boston, record snowfalls led to many more problems with ice dams than normal, especially on steep sloped roofs.

If a roof has significant heat loss after a snowstorm, it can cause the snow to melt. As the water flows down the cold roof, it refreezes on the cold eaves, forming ice dams. Daily cycles of melting and freezing can cause the water at the roof perimeter to develop into a bigger dam of ice, which further impedes the flow of water from draining off the roof. As the cycle continues, and the ice dams grow in width and height, the blocked water can start to leak through the roof. At the same time, the gutters also can become filled with ice dams and icicles, blocking leakage paths and redirecting the water around the drip edge and roof eave, right into the building. 

Without a weatherproof transition or seal between the roof deck shingles, ice dam protection system and the wall’s weather barrier system (which most homes don’t typically have), the water leaks through the roof or from blockages at the roof eaves and gutters, flows into the building and causes damage to ceilings, walls and windows.

Peter Nelson of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger will present the 1.5 hour webinar as an open-forum discussion, covering ice dams, cold roofs, ventilation, ice dam protection, insulation, compact roofs, air barriers, heat melt systems, icicles, gutters, down spouts, snow removal and more. Participants are urged to bring ideas for products and designs that can lead to better ice dam prevention and protection.

The head of SGH’s Building Technology Group in the Boston office, Nelson joined SGH in 1975. He specializes in evaluating moisture leakage, water vapor transmission and condensation that may lead to mold, specifically for special-use buildings such as hospitals that have humidity-controlled interior environments. He brings extensive experience to the team in evaluating, inspecting, analyzing and repairing building envelope systems, and is experienced in conducting field and laboratory investigations and evaluating materials, design and workmanship of roofing, waterproofing, windows, foundations and wall systems.

The May 29 webinar, “The Cold Hard Facts About Ice Dams on Roofs,” is free to attend, but only the first 125 participants will be admitted. Don’t wait to sign up. Register now.


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