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Ice Damming 101 . . .
December 14, 2017

 

Ice Damming, there is a strong possibility that you may have never heard of the term before ( you’re not alone, I didn’t know what it was until I began working for a Restoration Company), but chances are that you have definitely seen Ice Damming with your own eyes! Those beautiful long icicles that hang off of the eaves of houses in the winter time, ( you know what I am talking about) the ones that glisten and catch the sunlight, making houses seem as though they should be featured on the front of a Christmas card. Those aren’t “just” Icicles, they are really Ice Dams!

Basically, an Ice Dam is caused when a ridge of ice forms at the end of the roof (aka an icicle)  and causes a “dam.” (nothing can penetrate it) This dam prevents melting snow (aka water) from draining off of the roof properly. Once an Ice Dam attaches itself to a home, major problems usually aren’t too far away!  As heat and warm air leak from the living space below (inside the house) the snow on the roof begins to melt, and water begins to trickle down, until it finds it’s way to the coolest edge of the roof line (right above the eaves) where it then refreezes into long, strong pieces of ice. . .  lots and lots of ice!  Once this ice has hardened itself into a Dam, it becomes virtually impossible for any melting snow to get around it, so it looks for other places to seep into. . .walls, ceilings, and insulation are usually the first places to be hit, but Ice Dams can also warp floors, and damage other areas that require the immediate help of a Professional (aka Duraclean Services).

Although Ice Damming is pretty common especially in ice cold winter months, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent them:

. Pulling off snow with a long handled rake (aluminum with wheels) is a great start. While you are standing safely on the ground, you are able to manipulate the rake on top of the roof without damaging roof top shingles or yourself.

. Calcium Chloride is a great ice melter. When put into a pair of old pantyhose and laid across the top of the Ice Dam and gutter, it will eventually melt the Dam, creating a channel or passage for the water to flow down (Guys,  this is important, make sure that you ASK your wife before using her pantyhose, or an icy roof will be the least of your worries!)

.If you can, make sure the roof temperature is the same in every area, that way, Ice Dams cannot form. The key to doing this is good insulation and proper ventilation.

. Be sure you have enough Insulation, if you don’t, add some more. By adding it to the attic floor you will keep things warm, and when it’s nice and warm, ice cannot form.

. Make sure that all ducts (kitchen, bathroom, and dryer)  are directed through the roof or walls and are sealed and insulated properly.

. Be sure that there are no gaps around your chimney, if there are, be sure to fill them in with a fire-stop sealant.

. Be aware, keep a watchful eye, and don’t hesitate to call a Professional (Duraclean Services) at a moments notice.

Remember, Duraclean is ready to go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet ALL of your Restoration needs. Call ANY time 410-838-7330.

 

 

 

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