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Home Heating Hints

How good is your home heating system? Does it warm up the whole house on a cold day? Does it cost more than you think it should to get enough heat in the winter? Are you thinking about switching to an alternative heating system? Do you want to upgrade to a newer heating system? I started this blog to talk about the different alternatives for heating your home. Find out when it’s time to upgrade your heating unit and when you can make modifications or repairs to your old unit to improve its efficiency or keep it going a while longer. Also, check out the pros and cons of different alternative heating options from geothermal units to pellet stoves. Your home heating answers are here!


Home Heating Hints

Dam! How To Minimize Ice Dam Damage To Your Roof

Freddie Kuhn

During the winter, nothing is prettier than icicles hanging from the eaves of a house. However, those icicles are a telltale sign that a roof leak may happen in the near future. When cold weather occurs and snow builds up on a roof, ice dams can form. Ice dams are solid chunks of ice that build up along the eaves of a house. When these dams occur, they can rip the gutters and shingles off a house and cause water to come streaming into the house.

The heat from your attic warms the snow on your roof and allows it to melt. The eaves do not receive ample amounts of heat from the attic, so the melted snow accumulates and refreezes along the eaves of the house, forming the ice dam. As the ice dam grows, it reaches the warm roof again and melts, allowing the water to flow underneath the shingles and into your home.

Take Photographs on Cold Days

If you notice icicles forming along your gutters, take photographs of the outside of your home. These photos will allow you to know where ice dams may form. Use these photos to help you know where to check for damage in your attic.

The telltale signs of damage include damp or moldy smelling insulation. Additionally, if you see any water streaks in the attic or on the outside of your house, ice dams may have formed in the past. Finally, if you find any signs of damage, you should take steps to prevent ice dams from forming in the future.

Install Heated Cables

Heated cables and heat tape help prevent ice dams. The heat tape or cables are attached to the roof's edge in a serpentine motion using clips. The heated cables help to equalize roof temperatures by heating the eaves and gutter areas. This can help prevent ice from forming.

Cold Air is Your Friend

If an ice dam forms, you need to quickly cool down the meltwater. The fastest way to do this is to place a box fan in the attic facing the area where the leak is happening. This allows cold air to quickly refreeze the water to prevent further damage in your attic.

Rake It Off!

Once the leak has stopped, go outside and get the snow off your roof. This can be accomplished using a roof rake. A roof rake is quite different from a normal rake. It has wheels on each side that helps prevent damage to your shingles. Removing the snow will help change the temperature of your roof quickly.

Salt Your Ice Dam

If an ice dam has formed on your roof, fill a sock with ice melt and place on the ice dam. Make sure the sock overhangs your gutter. This overhang will create a path for the melting snow to flow through so it doesn't refreeze and cause even more damage.

Minimizing the damage done to your home due to an ice dam is not difficult if you follow the steps listed above. If you find that your roof has already been damaged, make sure to contact a company like Burroge Construction LLC before it gets any worse. Then, to prevent ice dams from forming in the future, increase attic ventilation by installing ridge and soffit vents and increasing the amount of insulation in your attic.