Structural Repair Grand Rapids, MI
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June 25, 2019
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July 9, 2019

Summer, the Perfect Season to Deal with Ice Dams

The first day of summer was June 21, which means the kids are out of school and the grill is out of the garage! But while most of us get busy with trips to the park, lawn care, and landscaping, there are plenty of winter season issues that can and should be tackled during the warm, dry weather. And if you experienced ice dam build up this year, that should make the top of the list.

What are Ice Dams?

An ice dam is formed when snow melts off the top of your home, slides down towards the eaves, and refreezes in place. Once the eave is blocked by this mound of ice it makes it harder for melting water to flow down and off the roof which in turn adds to the icy buildup.

And behind this buildup: a growing pocket of water stuck in place on top of your shingles. This water will eventually work its way through your shingles and into your home, triggering dangerous mold growth and leading to other water damage that can go undetected for long periods of time.

What can be Done to Prevent Ice Dams?

If ice dams have been a problem in the past (you can often tell from the leftover water damage or excessive icicle buildup) there are steps we can take to deal with them in the future, and there is no better time than during the summer when the roof is easily accessible, dry, and guaranteed snow-free.

Step 1. Insulate the Attic Floor

When heat rises from your attic (often around specific hotspots) it can melt the bottom layer of snow on the roof, which freezes once it slides to the roofs edge to form the ice-dam. Extra insulation keeps your home’s heat out of the attic to stop this snowmelt and help you on your winter heating and summer cooling bills.

Insulation should be added to the attic floor, to the access hatch (which should also be weather stripped), and around any flashing.

Step 2. Ventilate the Attic

Ventilation from eave, soffit, ridge, or gable vents keeps the air in your attic moving and at the correct temperature to prevent hotspots as well as snow melt or ice dam formation. Adding more vents as needed will help prevent ice dams before they start.

Step 3. Install Water and Ice Shield

If the seasonal damage is severe we can install a specialized membrane to the roof underneath the shingles to resist water penetration and keep your attic dry. Water and Ice Shield usually goes around the bottom edge of the roof where damage is most likely, but it can be installed over the entire roof if needed.

Call the Experts

Ice dams are preventable and there is no better time to put them behind you than during the warmest months of the year. For more information on our Grand Rapids MI ice dam prevention services or other summer or winter Grand Rapids home renovations, please contact our team today at (616) 965-1759 or info@AmberValleyConstruction.com.

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