“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” is a great song for this time of year but, unfortunately, all that cold and snow can also mean ‘tis the season of ice dams.
Ice dams forming in your home’s gutter system is caused by the lack of proper insulation in your attic. If your attic is too warm, this causes the snow on your roof to melt. As that melting snow pools into your gutters, it freezes and BAM, you have an ice dam. This can cause havoc to your gutter system, your roof in general and, eventually, it can cause serious water damage to your home.
A great rule of thumb, when it comes to your attic, is “if it’s too warm, cool it.” Your attic temperature is a result of heat rising from the inside of your home combined with the the heat from the sun shining on your roof. Without proper insulation, your attic can become a hot little nest egg of trouble.
There are “bandaid” fixes for your ice dam issues. You could install heat tape (heat wire.) This is a heated wire system, across your roof, that creates pathways for melted snow to flow off your roof. It is not a cheap system to install and it will also increase your electric bill. You can also make a point to rake your roof in the winter. Manually removing the snow, after each snowfall, can decrease your chances of an ice dam. But keep in mind that these are just temporary fixes.
Your best option, when it comes to eliminating ice dams, is to insulate your attic. Even Tom Silva, from “This Old House” agrees that the best way to eliminate ice dams is to properly insulate your attic.
Luckily, now is the time of year best suited for updating, replacing or installing new insulation in your attic area. If your attic is the “arctic tundra” in the winter and becomes the “Serengeti desert” in the height of summer, now is time to take action. Inspection, installation and clean up is much easier and more comfortable at this time of year, both for you and your contractor.
Take care of your attic’s insulation needs. Dick’s Roof Repair team can inspect and insulate your home for you.