Removal & Prevention of Ice Dams

Frankenmuth Insurance Company offers the following tips for removing and preventing Ice Dams.

The most important rule for removing snow from a roof is…..NEVER attempt to Climb, Stand or Walk on the Roof!

Snow Removal -
Use a roof rake to remove snow from the roof. This action will help slow down an “ice dam’s” growth. Roof rakes work best if the snow is light and less crusty. Using a roof rake while standing on a ladder can be dangerous. Use caution.

Dam Modification -
Cut out or chisel grooves into the dam to allow the water behind it to drain off. Exercise caution so shingles are not damaged as you cut into the dam.

Consult a licensed contractor for any necessary roof repair, vent installation or modification. Wear appropriate footwear for working in the snow and exercise extreme caution when using a ladder in the snow.

Insulation -
Installing additional insulation on the attic floor will reduce the temperature in the attic. Keep in mind once you reach the area’s optimal R-Value (a measure of the insulating value of a material), a further increase in the amount of insulation will not show an appreciable decrease in heat loss.

Weather Stripping -
Weather stripping and/or insulation can also be installed on attic stairways or hatchways and on attic floor-mounted louvers for whole house ventilation fans. Review manufacturer specifications on the fans or recessed lighting fixtures regarding whether the additional insulation will adversely affect their performance.

Ventilation –
Without an adequate amount of ventilation, the heat will build up despite the amount of insulation. Ventilation will also remove water vapor that can condense in the attic and result in dry rot and rust.

Recommended venting is typically one (1) square foot of vent for every 150 square feet of the attic floor area. Smaller gable vents can be replaced with larger units.

If the house roof has an overhang, or soffit, vents can be added to these soffit areas. A ridge vent can also be added. The vent is mounted along the length of the peak of the roof. The cold outside air that enters the soffit vents rises along the inside of the roof and exits through the ridge vent. This action cools the roof and removes moisture at the same time.

Be Safe -
Keeping your home free from Ice Dams is no accident. Be safe. Take note of the topics and recommendations discussed. We encourage you to put them into practice – doing so helps ensure your safety.


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