Did You Know?
Ice dams are caused by uneven heat loss from your home in wintry conditions re-freezing melted snow. This causes the roof to warm above freezing temperature, which allows snow to melt and then re-freeze before it reaches the roof’s edge. If this cycle repeats consistently, an ice dam forms and water collects behind it. As the water pools, it collects and can cause expensive water damage.
Preventing Ice Dams
To prevent the formation of ice dams:
- Keep the attic well ventilated. According to the Department of Energy, one square foot of free ventilation opening is recommended for every 150 square feet of attic space.
- Seal air leaks to prevent warm air leakage from plumbing vents, junction boxes from ceiling fixtures and attic hatches.
- Keep the attic floor well insulated (between 16 and 22 inches of insulation) to minimize the amount of heat rising into the attic from below.
- Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow. This will help prevent ice buildup in your gutters.
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