Monday, November 01, 2010

Prevent Ice Dams this Winter - Now

By Mark J. Donovan

Prevent ice dams this winter by inspecting your attic this fall for proper insulation. Check the Department of Energy’s website to see what the right amount of attic insulation is for your region of the country. Typically a home needs anywhere from R-30 to R-49 in the attic. By installing the necessary amount of insulation in the attic now you can prevent ice dams, and their damaging effects that come along with them, this winter.

Also make sure the soffit vents are not blocked and that the ridge vent or gable vents are in good working order as well. To prevent ice dams it is important that any warm air that may filter up into the attic from the lower living areas, and through the attic insulation, be quickly released from the attic. Having a good attic venting system will ensure this happens. Warm moist air that gets trapped in the attic can cause snow to melt and turn to ice on the outer side of the shingled roof. The melting snow that occurs can quickly form ice dams near the roof eaves when the attic and outside air temperatures drop below 32 degrees (F) in the evening.

See’s article on “Preventing Ice Dams” to learn more.

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