You may have seen it in your neighborhood or as you look at houses on your commute to work — Houses where the gutters are full of ice and large icicle formations.
Houses that are more prone to ice dams often have inadequate insulation or major leakage of warm air from the home into the attic. Studies show that on average, 40% of your heat loss is through the ceiling and out the roof.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t spend much time in the attic. In fact, the vast majority of Americans only go up to their attics only when dealing with a leaky roof or “animal intruders” like bats, squirrels, or raccoons. When it comes to heating & cooling issues in your home, the attic should not be ignored.
During the winter however, attics are vulnerable to an even greater and potentially more damaging problem: ice damming. Ice dams are large accumulations of ice that collect on the lip of your roof or in the gutters. Once they’ve set in, ice dams can cause melting snow or rain to accumulate under your shingles and seep into the attic and your home potentially causing expensive water damage.
Therefore, one way to avoid ice damming is to ensure that attics are well insulated. The proper amount of attic insulation with the greatest R-Value for your region is a cost effective way to eliminate the potential for troublesome ice damming.
The large accumulation of ice at the eaves on a home is an excellent indicator of inadequate insulation. Another indicator is when the snow that falls on your roof quickly disappears all the while the snow on an unheated garage or a well insulated attic will be around for a longer period of time.
By spending the time to fix the problem properly the first time, you’ll help prevent ice damming from occurring.
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