With the winter months right around the corner, the team here at Steve Mull Plumbing wants to take some time to offer our clients some insight on winter ice dams. These dams are a very common winter problem that can cause damage to your home as a result of war air leaking from failed ventilation you may have in your attic. When this occurs snow on your rooftop begins to melt and leak and ultimately refreezes over time on the eaves of your roof. If you have a clogged gutter system at the same time, the danger levels of the ice dams are increased.
HOW TO PREVENT ICE DAMS
- · Appropriate Ventilation – One of the best approaches to preventing the formation of these dams is to simply prevent the accumulated snow from melting at all and refreezing at all. Keeping the lower roof at a temperature near to that of the outside temperature and blocking heat from the attic. To do this you will need to install a proper ventilation system that will circulate colder air, thereby keeping the roof of your house cool reducing the chances of the snow melting and forming the dams.
- · Proper attic heat – Of your attic has too much heat, even with proper ventilation, you are apt to still experience the formation of the dams. By minimizing the heat in the attic, you reduce the odds of the snow melting on the roof. Bathroom exhaust fans as well as duct work that is not properly insulated ultimately causes the warm air in your home to rise and find its way into the attic.
- · Don’t forget the insulation for your attic floors – Yet another approach to keeping the heat in your living space from finding its way into your attic is by way of installing insulation on the floor of your attic. Further to this simple step, you should also find any leaks that may exist in your attic floor and properly seal them.
- · Proper maintenance of your gutters and downspouts – If your gutter system is clean and not clogged it is much harder for water or ice to accumulate and dam up. Before winter arrives be sure to clean out your gutters, getting rid of any leaves and debris. Also, be sure that all downspouts are functioning properly.
HOW TO ELIMINATE WINTER ICE DAMS
The ideal time to be proactive with regard to preventing the formation of ice dams is obviously in the warmer months. However, if you fail to do this and find yourself faced with a problem in the winter months, we have a few solutions to offer you.
- Roof rake – A roof rake does just that, it rakes your roof of accumulated snow and moves it to the ground below. To avoid an ice dam from forming it is essential that you remove the lower four feet of snow. Be sure to use extreme caution when performing this simple but somewhat dangerous task.
- Ice melt products – One of the best all round products to use for melting dams is calcium chloride because it causes minimal corrosion or staining of any type. In addition, it operates easily at cooler temperatures, allowing for large amounts of snow and ice to be melted. Again, take necessary precautions when using any type of melt products.
STEVE MULL PLUMBING – FOR ALL YOUR PLUMBING NEEDS
As we have explained the formation of these dams can cause excessive damage to your home. Not only can they damage your roof, but they can also cause damage to your attic plumbing. They are, however, preventable if you are proactive and take proper steps in the warmer months to avoid their occurrence. If you find yourself faced with attic plumbing issues as a result of the formation of ice dams, then rest assured, the team here at Steve Mull Plumbing has got you covered. Simply give a shout out to one of our team members and schedule your service appointment today!