Ice Dam Prevention
Chicagoland winter has arrived, and the snow and ice will start falling. The white snow and icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look beautiful, but they can be a predictor of future trouble. Ice dams can damage gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and seep into your house.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can flow under the shingles and leak into a home causing damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
Quick Solutions to Get Rid of Ice Dams:
Snow Roof Rake: Pull off snow with a long-handled aluminum roof rake while you stand safely on the ground. A rake with wheels will instantly pull the snow off of a roof without damaging shingles.
Ice Melter: Fill the leg of discarded pair of panty hose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.
Heated Cables: Attached with clips along the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern, heated cables combat ice dams that lift shingles and cause leaks. This solution allows you to equalize your roof’s temperature by heating it from the outside.
|Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter and to Prevent Ice Damming Before It Starts
1. Ventilate Eaves and Ridge. A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents circulates cold air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the same size openings and provide at least 1 square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.
2. Seal Attic Hatch. An unsealed attic hatch or whole-house fan is a massive opening for heat to escape. Cover them with weather-stripped caps made from foil-faced foam board held together with aluminum tape.
3. Exhaust to the Outside. Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.
4. Add Insulation. More insulation on the attic floor keeps the heat where it belongs. To find how much insulation your attic needs, check with your local building department.
5. Install Sealed Can Lights. Old-style recessed lights give off great plumes of heat and cannot be insulated without creating a fire hazard. Replace them with sealed “IC” fixtures, which can be covered with insulation.
6. Flash Around Chimneys. Bridge the gap between chimney and house framing with L-shaped steel flashing held in place with unbroken beads of a fire-stop sealant.
7. Seal and Insulate Ducts. Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.
8. Caulk Penetrations. Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air.
Give us a call at Storm Guard of Naperville to help you inspect your roof prior to the winter snow and ice. We can assist you in trouble shooting before you have any issues! 630-216-8297