Ice Dams And What You Need To Know Part I
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Ice Dams and What You Need To Know Part 1

Posted by Northface Construction  - Owner & Founder

Ice Dams and What You Need To Know Part 1

When winter is upon us in the states that experience subzero temperatures and heavy snowfall, we know there are certain measures to be taken to combat nature and its effect on us and our property. A specific occurrence that has become more widely known in the last 10 years is the occurrence of Ice Dams on roofs. What are ice dams? Ice dams are a buildup of ice on the roof that causes water to back up into the structure because it is not able to flow correctly.

Northface Construction has been proud to help homeowners over the past years with their ice dam issues. Whether those issues are prevention, removal or remediation of damages we have been able to share our expertise with our clients. However, for the many out there that we have not yet had the pleasure to work with, we would like to educate you on Ice dam Prevention, Ice Dam Removal and Ice Dam damage Remediation.

This is a three part blog post, in this first post I will talk about what ice dams are and why they form, how to assess your risk for ice dams, and the multiple measures that can be taken to prevent ice dams.

Ice Dams can cost lots of money! Not only for the removal, but the possible damages that can be caused and the cost to update to prevent them again after they happen. The best way to approach your ice dam issues is from a preventative standpoint. By being on top of the game you not only can save money on possible ice dams, but the updates can save money through energy bills and insurance premiums.

What Are Ice Dams?

Ice dams are caused when the snow on your roof melts from the heat lost into the attic. Heat loss can be caused by inadequate insulation amounts, penetration bypasses such as light fixtures that allow warm air through, uninsulated exhaust pipes that leak heat, and inadequate attic ventilation to the exterior. Once the snow melts it runs down the roof to the edge where the liquid water meets a colder surface area such as the soffit overhang and re-freezes. This process can continue and keep building up ice until it forms an ice dam and back up under your shingles and leak through into the home.

With current building code regulations of soffit chutes to enable air-flow, R-49 insulation, Insulated exhaust pipes and lighting penetrations foam sealed. Newer home owners are not at as much risk as those of us who own an older home before these codes were enacted. All of these codes are developed to maintain the attic temperature to stay in line with outside temperatures. The good thing about keeping your attic cold is that you are at lower-risk for ice dams, energy bills can be reduced and most importantly keep your house warmer!

Northface Construction prides itself in not only recognizing homes at risk for ice dam issues, but assessing proper measure to fix the issues to the fullest extent.  The services provided include ice dam removal, damage remodeling, insulation upgrades and roofing upgrades.

In the next part of my ice dam series I will talk about ways to get rid of ice dams. From hiring a professional to the good old fashion do-it-yourself ways to get rid of them. Stay Tuned!





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