Winter’s Coming and So Are Ice Dams — What They Are and How to Stop Them
Winter’s coming, and you know what that means — chilly nights, sloppy driving, snow-shoveling hassles and high heating bills. But there’s another hazard for homeowners to consider — ice dams. An ice dam on your roof can damage your home and create expensive problems inside your attic. So, find out what causes ice dams and how to prevent them.
Defining an Ice Dam
An ice dam occurs when snow accumulates on your roof, and then melts on the upper sections of the roof, streaming down towards the gutters. The lower part of the roof, where there isn’t much room underneath for warm air to collect, tends to be much colder than the upper parts.
As the melting snow hits the colder section, it freezes and forms a ridge of ice – also called an ice dam. The melting snow backs up behind the ridge of ice, and as water tends to do, finds another place to drain, including through shingles and the roof.
Eventually, it can get into the attic and damage insulation, walls and floors. The best way go avoid ice dams is to add insulation to your attic, so less heat is able to transfer to the roof.
Also, make sure to seal air leaks in your attic. Heat from your living spaces will escape into the attic if it can, which will also force your heating equipment to work harder.
Finally, make sure you have proper ventilation, so there’s a regular exchange of warm attic air with cooler outside air.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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