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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

3 Tips for Preventing Ice Dams

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

Ice dams are formed when water melts and pools against overhanging icicles on your roof. This is usually caused by a warm attic melting the ice on the top of your roof, while the overhanging icicles remains frozen on the edge of your roof. Over time, the melted ice on the top of your roof will pool against the icicles. This can cause water to seep into your home and cause water damage. 

The best way to prevent ice dams is to keep your attic and roof cold. You can tell if your roof is cold if there is a consistent layer of snow across the roof. If your roof is warm, you will see spots of melted snow and there will likely be icicles hanging from the eaves of your home. 

Here are three tips to keep your roof cold and prevent ice damming on your home:

1.) Stop unnecessary air leakage.

Air leaks are commonly caused by gaps in drywall and cracks around light fixtures, pipes and chimneys. Unfortunately, these can sometimes require a lot effort to stop. If you climb up to your attic and rake back the insulation, you can use caulk to plug the unwanted cracks. Not only will this help prevent ice damming, but it will also lower your heating and air conditioning bills. 

2.) Make sure that you have enough attic insulation.

The recommended level of insulation for attics is approximately 12 to 14 inches. If you have had ice dam problems and notice that you have less than 8 inches of insulation, you should consider adding more. This sort of job is usually best handled by a professional, but you can sometimes rent a machine to do it from a home center for free with the purchase of needed insulation.   

3.) Make sure that you have enough attic ventilation.

Ventilation is important for getting rid of warm air in the attic and keeping your roof cold. It is recommended to have no lesss than 1 square foot of ventilation per 300 square feet of attic floor. In order to determine this, you could view the stamped dimensions of your existing vents and compare it to the square foot of your attic floor. 

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about water damage from ice dams, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

The Family Handyman

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