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Ice Dam Dangers

Icicles – Winter can create some beautiful scenes…Biciclesright white snow, glistening frost on the trees.  Even the frozen pond perfect for hockey.  But icicles forming on the edges of your home should send up a warning flag.

Icicles hanging from the edges of your home are often the result of an ice dam formed when melting snow or ice flows down the roof and re-freezes.  That recent beautiful snowfall can become a homeowner nightmare.

There are many approaches to resolving this issue, some more effective than others.  Here are a few tips to get you through.

  • Attic Ventilation – Be sure you have adequate ventilation at the eaves and ridge.
  • Attic Insulation – Inspect and fix any missing or damaged insulation.
  • Use Ice & Water Shield when re-roofing.

The best long term way to avoid ice dam formation and roof ice dam leaks: good ventilation and good insulation!

Looking for more immediate measures or solutions?

  • Heat Tapes or Heat Cables – Tools like these will help melt channels in the existing ice.  It’s not a great permanent fix, but its usually a good step if you’re having an issue that may result in leaking into the structure.
  • Fix Air & Heat Leaks – Attics are cooler in the winter and a great time to look for missing or gaps in insulation.  Look for dark marks that may be caused by air flow.  Attending to these leaks can help prevent or resolve the exterior Ice Dams.
  • Lower The Temperature – We know what you’re thinking…”Turn down the heat? You must be joking.”  We’re not kidding.  Making the house too warm while having improper insulation sends more heat into the attic which means more melting snow until it hits the colder roof edge and freezes.
  • Remove the Ice – sounds simple right?  There are all sorts of ideas out there to remove the ice that may have already built up on the edge of your roof.  Which ever you choose, ALWAYS keep safety your first priority.

#icedam #HomeInspection

Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and while we often think of “Spring Cleaning”, it’s important to consider the Exterior of your home.  After protecting and keeping you warm during the long winter, your house could use a little massage.  Preventative maintenance is crucial to the value of your home.  How do you keep the place in Tip-Top Shape?  Regular checks and simple maintenance can help you avoid expensive headaches in the future.

Outside The House

Roofs And Gutters

Brutal winter temperatures coupled with ice, snow and winds can wreak havoc on your roof.  You may want to call a contractor if you haven’t inspected your roof in several years.  Give it a good once over noting any lifting or curling areas or missing shingles.  Leaks typically occur around an inadequately flashed chimney, skylight, or other opening. They’re easiest to spot in the attic, so look closely in attic at the rafters for water stains. If you find something of concern, contact a professional for evaluation and repair.  Examine the siding under roof eaves for water or discoloration, indications that ice dams might have created leaks along the roof edge.

Next, check to see if the gutters are safely attached and haven’t sprung any leaks. Clear gutters of debris and check them for corrosion, joint separation, and loose fasteners. Flush out downspouts and be sure they are directing water away from teh foundation to prevent potential flooding.

Right The Foundation

Inspect the foundation around your house before the spring rains. Look for cracks or imperfections, and seal them or call a contractor if necessary. Hairline cracks in foundation walls might be the result of concrete curing or minor settling and aren’t automatically cause for alarm. Mark them with tape and check them again in a few months. If they’ve worsened, call a structural engineer. If they’re stable, fill them with an epoxy-injection system.

  • Fill in holes in siding and foundation walls with expandable foam.
  • Check that the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house (about 1 inch per foot).
  • Look for pellet-shaped droppings or shed wings from termites.
  • Clear the area of leaves, in which rodents can nest.

Also look for low areas in the yard near the foundation that might pool water during a heavy rain. Level these yard depressions by filling them with compacted soil. Tend to any other “ponding” areas around the yard, too, because after a hard rain, standing water can develop. These puddles can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Addtional Structures

Next time you have that craving for BBQ – be sure to take a look at the deck.  Look for water stains where the deck ties to the house. Ongoing leakage can lead to wood decay, weakening the deck structure and the house. If you have any doubt about the structure’s integrity – call a pro to check it out!

Rid your deck of moss and mold. Pressure washers are quite effective, while a stiff shop broom and a little elbow grease can go a long way too!

Looking for more spring maintenance tips?  Wondering what maintenance items to focus on?  Be sure to check our website for more Spring Maintenane Tips or download our sprint