While the icicles hanging from your gutters may be beautiful to look at, the ice dams that may be lurking behind can wreak havoc on your home. It's best to take the necessary measures to stop ice dams before they get a chance to start. Read on to learn more about how they form and what you can do prevent them.
How Does an Ice Dam Form?
An ice dam is a chunk of ice that forms along the edges of your roof. It occurs when the heat that has collected in your attic
warms the roof, causing the snow on it to melt. The water trickles down the roof and reaches the colder eave where it refreezes, gradually forming a dam.
What Damage Can an Ice Dam Do?
An ice dam can tear off your gutters and loosen shingles. Meltwater from the roof can pool behind it, seep under the shingles and drip into your house. That can have a number of destructive effects such as drenched insulation, warped floors, peeling paint, stained ceilings, rotting joists, and mold growth
How to Prevent Ice Dams
You can enjoy a dam-free winter by taking these steps.
- Add insulation to your attic floor. This helps retain your indoor heat and keep it out of your attic.
- Insulate the attic hatch. A significant amount of heat can escape through your hatch if it's unsealed. Seal it with weatherstripping.
- Inspect the exhausts. Ensure they all lead outside through the walls or roof, and not the soffit.
- Flash around your chimneys. Leak-proof your chimneys by installing steel flashing between them and the house framing.
- Add ridge and continuous soffit vents. These vents circulate cold air under your roof.
- Seal ducts and penetrations. Seal the joints of your HVAC and exhaust ductwork with fiber-reinforced mastic. Use a fire sealant to seal around vent pipes and electric cables.
By preventing ice dams, you'll also be making your home more energy-efficient. To learn more about ice dams, contact Russell's Heating & Cooling
. We serve the Hampton Roads area of Southeast Virginia.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chesapeake, Virginia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 757-750-1831.
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