The presence of ice dams on your roof sends a strong signal that it’s time to investigate the attic and check the gutters. While beautiful, an ice dam creates dangers for you and your home. The dams can fall unpredictably, causing injury, and as they melt, do untold damage to your home’s structure.
These dams form when the surface of the roof warms enough to melt the snow that collects on it. As the water runs off the roof, it may cool enough to freeze at the eaves. An icicle forms that may break off and fall. When the weather warms, the ice melts and drips to the ground or seeps into your home’s attic or walls.
It can soak the lumber from which your home’s structure is made, including the roof decking, joists, and wall studs. Since it’s largely unnoticed, this seepage creates an ideal environment for wood rot and mold growth.
Inadequate attic insulation or air leaks between the ceiling and the attic are the primary causes of ice dam formation. The heat inside the attic warms the roof enough to melt the snow. Occasionally, clogged gutters cause ice dams to form at the roof’s edge.
- Seal the air leaks between the ceilings and the attic, as well as the attic hatch. Look for gaps between the fixtures that protrude into the attic from recessed light fixtures, vent pipes, and exhaust fan. If you see gaps around flues or chimneys, use metal flashing and silicon caulk to block the leak.
Seal leaks around low temperature fittings with acrylic caulk. If you notice ductwork leaks in the attic, have your trusted HVAC contractor seal them.
- Inadequate insulation lets heat enter the attic. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends at least 16 inches in the attic. Compressed or damaged insulation may need replacing. Licensed contractors can assess your attic and make recommendations to prevent heat loss.
Taking steps to prevent ice dams prevent untold damage to your home’s structure and increases home safety. To learn more, contact Detmer and Sons, providing trusted HVAC services for Dayton homeowners.
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