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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Protect your Western Dutchess County home from Ice Damming before it becomes a problem!

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Snow, ice and icicles hanging off of the gutters on a house All this snow and ice build up is an ice damming issue ready to happen! Take care in the Fall to help prevent water damage in the Winter!

Fall is the ideal time to get your Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Beacon and Wappingers homes ready for winter. Most of us have heard the stories about ice damming from a roof or gutters, it’s a stressful and costly headache that can be prevented.

Ice dams can occur when there are several inches of snow on the roof and the outside air temps hover in the low 20’s for many days. Poor attic insulation increases the chances of a problem. Ice dams form when heated air melts roof snow down into water stuck behind still frozen ice. When the water is dammed and has nowhere to flow through the gutter system, it can back flow under shingles and inside your home. The bottom line is you want to try to keep that attic as cold as you can to stop melting ice AND to keep the snow and icicles clear from your roof.

Here are some helpful prevention tips you can do ahead of winter to avoid an ice damming problem:

  • Keep the attic air temperature below freezing when the outside air temperature is in the low 20’s.
  • Install more insulation in the attic floor to prevent warm household air getting into the attic.
  • Have good ventilation in the attic to consistently replace warm air that might rise to the attic with cold outside air.
  • Keep the bottom 4-6 feet of your roof clear of snow but be careful not to damage any shingles.
  • Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris. The more clogged they are, the higher the chances of the heavy ice build-up happening.
  • Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic: vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures are all possibilities.
  • Consider installing a heat cable along the eaves to help melt the ice.
  • Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation.
  • Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof.
  • If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily.

If ice damming does occur despite your best efforts, keep in mind the following:

-Don’t chip away at the ice, that will damage the shingles no matter how hard you try not to.

-Don’t install a water heater or other mechanical equipment in the attic.

-Don’t use salt or calcium chloride to melt the snow, they are super corrosive and can cause problems with gutters, downspouts and flashings. The runoff from these will also cause harm to plants and grass.

The best solution is to call a roofing specialist to locate the leak and seal everything. Then call SERVPRO of Western Dutchess County to remediate the water damage. We’re available for emergencies 24/7 at (845)831-3600. Our certified water damage technicians will work to get your home back Like it never even happened.

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