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How to Prevent Ice Dams Blog Feature

By: Ryan Litwiller on November 14th, 2017

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Visualize this homeowner nightmare.

A winter storm arrives to your area. There’s heavy snowfall. Then day after day of below-freezing temperatures follow.

But that’s just winter in Michigan, right?

Actually, it’s the recipe for a silent killer, an assassin that quietly seeps under what appears to be a tranquil scene straight from a Christmas card: a snow-covered roof.

It is the ice dam.

The Skinny on Ice Dams

An ice dam is a layer of water that freezes on a roof, usually underneath a layer of snow and adjacent to icicles on the overhang.

The impact of ice dams is significant.

They cause damage that leads to roof openings and water leaks into the home’s attic. The trickle down effect is a water spot above the ceiling in the area near the roof damage, according to Energy Star.

Ice dams also can rot wood, break gutters and cause mold and mildew in a house.

Not fun.

The Formation of an Ice Dam

To understand how to prevent ice dams, you must first understand how they form.

The typical sad story goes like this -- Warm air from the main living area of your home leaks into the attic and heats up the roof. The snow and ice then melts, but it gets worse.

Soon the melted water starts cruising down the roof, staying invisible underneath the snow. But then it meets its match -- the freezing cold overhang.

There the water refreezes creating icicles and trapping ice underneath the shingles. Additional melting water can seep through the roof and exterior walls.

An ice dam is born.

Ice Dam Solutions

If you have an ice dam on your roof, you have to break up the ice manually.

However, it’s dangerous.

Professionals are usually required to shovel snow from the roof and remove the ice through heat, chemicals, or chipping of the ice.

Therefore, the best ice dam solution is prevention.

Here’s how to prevent ice dams. You should invest in spray foam installation in your attic ahead of time.

When Retrofoam of Michigan sprays your attic with spray foam, it air seals and insulates your attic to reduce air flows and leaks, greatly decreasing the risk of water damage from ice dams while reducing monthly heating and cooling costs.

Instead of a homeowner nightmare, you now have a homeowner dream.

For a free in-home estimate to learn how spray foam will benefit your home, please fill out the form on our website or call our office at 866-900-3626.

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