The cold winter weather is setting in for the long haul, which means that your home is vulnerable to ice dams. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home if left untreated. Knowing how to prevent ice dams can help to ensure that your home stays safe this season.
Ice dams occur when heat from your home melts the snow on your roof, which then refreezes when it gets past the exterior walls of your home at the edge of the roof. As more water continues to melt and refreeze at the edge, it creates a larger ice dam. As water builds up behind the dam, it can get beneath the shingles of your roof, and into the walls, creating serious water damage.
To ensure that an ice dam does not damage your home this winter, keep these simple home maintenance tips in mind.
- Cap the hatch – attic hatches and whole-house fans are one of the easiest ways for heat to escape. Make sure that they are properly covered with weather-stripped caps that are made from foil-faced foam board and held together with aluminum tape.
- Properly exhaust – ensure that all the ducts that are connected to your bathrooms, kitchen, and dryer are all vented outside through the walls or roof and not through the soffit.
- Add insulation – adding more insulation on the floor of your attic helps to keep the heat where it belongs. Check the local building department in your community to see how much insulation is required.
- Update your lights – if you have old recessed lights in your home, warm air can easily escape through the seals. Install sealed “IC” fixtures to ensure that they do not let any warm air through.