Beware of Ice Dams!

Beware of Ice Dams!

The severe winter weather has finally hit! Here are some tips to help you prevent-and deal with- the damaging effects of snow and ice.

What are ice dams? They form on roofs in the winter months and can result in extensive water damage to your home’s interior. They form when water freezes on your roof (usually at the eaves), water then pools behind the dam itself and will eventually work its way through the roof and into your home’s structure.

What causes an ice dam? There are three conditions that must be present for an ice dam to form:

  1. Snow on the roof
  2. Heat to melt the snow
  3. Cold temperatures to re-freeze the melted snow

This cycle can occur and re-occur which allows for water to build-up and work its way through the roof covering, resulting in water entering your home’s structure. Once the water enters the structure, it is easy for the water to make its way into your ceiling and walls.

You’re probably thinking, “That sounds horrible, how can I prevent ice dams?!?”

Well, it’s obvious that you can’t control the temperature outside, but you CAN take proper precautions to avoid ice dams from forming.

  • Take the time to remove snow from the lower eaves or end of the rafter area. Without the build-up of snow, you have eliminate the source of the problem.
  • Seal warm air leaks from interior rooms to the attic (This can also help cut your heating bills!)
  • Ensure that you have good insulation in your attic. Living in the Northeast, your home should have at least R 38 (around 12 inches of fiberglass/cellulose) above the ceiling.
  • Make sure there is unrestricted air movement under the roof from the eaves soffit to the ridge.
  • Clean your roof’s gutters in the Fall, after foliage has fallen. Although clogged gutters do not create ice dams, they can cause ice to back up onto the roof.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to call our office. Our team-members here at SAVA are here for you! Be safe.

(860) 437-7282

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