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Getting Rid of Ice Dams: What You Need To Know

iciclesThis has been a fierce winter and it’s not over yet! Upper Valley residents may love the snow and ice but that ice hanging off your home is actually cause for concern. Insurance agents are reporting significant ice dam damage to New Hampshire homes. Icicles hanging off your roof may look pretty but they can cause major damage to your house. We have some tips for getting rid of ice dams and preventing their return next winter.

What Causes Ice Dams

Ice Dams start when the heat in your home rises to the attic and heats your roof. As the snow on your roof melts from this heat, it causes water to drip off the eaves of your roof. When temperatures drop again those drips can freeze and begin to form icicles off the edge of your roof and behind built up snow. As the ice on the edge of the roof melts and then refreezes ice dams can form and this ice build up acts as a dam and pushes the water under the shingles. This can allow water to damage your roof and to enter the home causing even more problems on the inside. Icicles don’t always mean you have ice dams but if you do have icicles hanging off your home you should check for moisture in your attic and remove the icicles to be safe. Always use caution removing icicles.

Getting Rid of Ice Dams

Ice Dams can be hard to identify. Typically homeowners don’t know they have an ice dam problem until they notice water stains and moisture within the home. Your best line of defense is to prevent ice dams and there are a few actions you can take to get rid of ice dams before they form.

  • Heated Cables – Use clips to attach heated cables to your roof in a zig zag pattern. This will help you control the temperature of your roof and prevent ice dams from ever forming.
  • Insulate – Focus on insulating the floor of your attic. This will help keep the heat in your home and not your attic.
  • Ventilate the Roof – Make sure there is adequate ventilation under your roof. Keeping the air under your roof moving will prevent the issues that lead to ice dams.
  • Seal and Insulate Air Ducts – Seal ducts to prevent leaks into the attic and then insulate to prevent heat loss.
  • Clear Snow – Immediately after a storm, use a roof rake to remove snow from your roof. You can also look into hiring professionals that provide this service.

Protect Your Asset

When you buy a home in the Upper Valley you are making a big investment that you will have for years to come. You will soon learn that if you can prevent a problem before it happens you can save a lot of time and money. A new roof is expensive so taking time to prevent ice dams and getting rid of existing ice dams will help protect your home and your roof.

Proper home owners insurance is another good lesson in home ownership. If you are in the market to buy a home Title Mortgage is here to help you protect that asset. Contact us today and schedule an appointment to discuss the mortgage process and the importance of home inspections and proper homeowners insurance.