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What to Do to Prevent Ice Dams

Michiganders are rejoicing because once again temperatures are hovering around a balmy 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  After weeks of cold and snow, this feels like the tropics.  All of that snow just doesn’t disappear overnight, however.  The snow is melting leaving us with a lot of water–many of which is in places where we do not want it.  When that water freezes, it can create problems for our home such, such as ice dams.

Ice dams are big issues occurring when snow on the roof melts and then refreezes when it gets to the gutter–either because the gutter is an unheated space or because temperatures drop at night.  That ice can build up, and seep upwards into your roof shingles causing leakage inside your home–and significant damage.

How can we prevent this happening?  Read on to find out.

What to Do to Prevent Ice Dams

Here are few preventative measures as advised by the National Weather Service.

Make sure the attic is evenly and adequately insulated.

Snow melt on the roof can come from warm outdoor temperatures, as well as from the roof itself–if the attic isn’t properly insulated.  When attics do not have enough insulation, heat that escapes from the lowers areas of the home can warm up the roof, causing the snow to melts.  Once it melts and slides down, it then hits the edge of the roof and the gutter, which are usually much cooler.

Keep gutters clear from sticks, leaves, snow, and other debris.

As the snow melts, you want as much as possible to travel along the gutters and down the downspouts.

Remove large amounts of snow from the roof.

It is much harder for that melt/freeze cycle to occur when there isn’t as much snow on the roof.  Pick up a roof rake at your local hardware store, and rake off some snow after big snowfalls.

Sealing any air leaks into your attic and increasing attic ventilation can also be helpful in regard to preventing ice dams.  Check out Family Handyman for more information.

Looking to learn more about adding insulation to your home, or some of our other residential heating and cooling services?  Contact us at FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical!

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