No More Ice Dams<br />What causes ice dams?<br />How do they cause damage?<br />How to remove ice dams<br />How to prevent ice dams from occurring <br />Electric heating cable<br />Insulation<br />Venting<br />What to do if you have damage<br />
About Me<br />Been in the building industry all my life<br />Started own construction company in 1992<br />Owner Fair and Square Remodeling<br />Over 17years of experience in fixing the causes of ice dams<br />
Where Do Ice Dams Come From?<br />In poorly insulated homes, warm air escapes through the ceiling and into the attic. <br />If ventilation inside the attic is also inadequate, all that warm air has nowhere to go. Result: the roof's temperature starts to creep up higher than the outdoor air temperature, causing accumulated snow on the roof to begin melting. <br />Water then trickles down the slope of the roof until it once again hits a cold patch, usually the gutter. There it refreezes, gradually forming a dam that prevents runoff. Additional melting snow, having nowhere to go, starts seeping inside the house -- and that's where the homeowner's headaches begin.<br />
How Damage is Caused<br />Ice dams cause the water that is blocked by a wall of ice to build and rise up underneath the roof shingles thereby penetrating inside your home.<br />
Damage Caused by Ice Dams<br />Leaky roofs <br />Attic condensation – rotting wood<br />Wet insulation –doesn’t work if wet<br />Cracks in the wall <br />Water stains, mold<br />Peels in your paint job<br />Structural damage –ice is heavy!<br />Rotting trim around windows and doors, buckled hard wood floors and more….<br />
How to Remove Ice Dams<br />DON'T try to remove ice from gutters with blunt force. Might get the ice out of the gutters but you could end up ripping your gutters off the roof or damaging your roof.<br />DON'T climb onto your roof and attempt to shovel the snow and ice on your own. That's a steep, slippery surface, and you could fall and seriously hurt yourself.<br />
How to Remove Ice Dams<br />DO Rake snow from roof from the ground – or if using a ladder –careful on icy ground<br />A good roof rake will have wheels to prevent damaging your roof<br />DO Hire a professional steam company that will chip the ice into chunks and remove it. <br />
How to Prevent Ice Dams From Occurring<br />Electric heating cable<br />Insulation<br />Venting<br />
Heating Cables<br />Roof de-icing cables, also known as heat cables or heat tape, should be a last resort when it comes to preventing leakage from ice dams. <br />CONS: De-icing cables aren’t cheap, it’ll cost money to have them professionally installed, and they’ll cost money to operate – between five and eight watts per foot. <br />PROS: They’re very effective; it’s pretty much a guarantee against leakage from ice dams. <br />NOTE: They won’t prevent ice dams, but they’ll keep enough ice melted to create drainage channels for water, if installed properly.<br />
Insulation<br />Fix the air leaks first! <br />Look at the space around the furnace and / or water heater vent.<br />Look for transitions between old and new construction<br />Look around plumbing vents<br />Seal them off with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping.<br />
Insulation<br /><ul><li>Most homes built before the 1980s will not have sufficient levels of attic insulation
Closed cell insulation is the most effective; Cellulose insulation second. Avoid fiberglass batts – they leave gaps everywhere.
Stay away from the edges to avoid blocking soffit vents, and to avoid moisture getting trapped.</li></li></ul><li>Ventilation<br />Adequate ventilation in the attic space helps to keep the roof surface cold, which helps prevent snow from melting, which helps prevent ice dams. <br />The best way to ventilate an attic space is with continuous soffit vents and continuous ridge vents, but this isn’t always possible.<br /><ul><li>If you don’t have enough soffit vents, add more. If you don’t have enough roof vents, add more.
If your soffit vents are dirty, clean them or replace the grills if they’re painted shut. Grills are cheap.
If your soffit vents are blocked with insulation, you need air chutes installed at the eaves to prevent the insulation from blocking the vents.
As a rule of thumb, there should be a 1 sq foot of ventilation in the attic for every 150 square feet of the attic floor.</li></li></ul><li>What to do if you have damage <br />If you have water running into your house or are worried that you might, the safest way to remove ice dams is to steam them off. You should be prepared to pay $250 to $350 per hour. <br />Call your insurance company.<br />Take pictures – lots of pictures. Often the damage from ice dams and the problems that caused the ice dam cannot be fixed effectively during the winter and the pictures will help when spring comes.<br />Beware contractors who say they can fix the root cause in winter. <br />