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Ice Dams: Fact vs. Fiction

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As winter continues, the temperature can rise and fall causing extreme cold as well as some general winter thawing.  As this occurs, ice dams can form causing major damage to your home.  For most people, ice damming is intimidating not only because of the problems it can create but also because we know so little about them.  And often what we do know may not be the most accurate information.  Learning the true facts surrounding ice damming can help prepare you and your home for these long winter months.

Below we explore some facts as well as some popular misconceptions about ice dams.

Fact: Ice Dams can occur with little or no snow.

Ice dams typically occur with ice and really does not need much moisture at all to accumulate on the roof and gutters.  Even a dusting of snow can create an ice dam problem, however, the wetter and heavier the snow, the more of a chance that an ice dam can occur.

Fiction: Incorrect insulation doesnt have an effect on the probability of an ice dam occurring.

Improperly insulated homes are just as bad as poorly insulated homes when it comes to ice dams.  Most times, when insulation is done incorrectly, moisture becomes trapped and is unable to properly ventilate out of the home causing a build-up of snow and ice on the roof.

Fact: You often cant see ice dams from the ground.

It can sometimes be hard to see an ice dam from the ground.  Most ice dams begin to form around skylights and chimney flashings where the homeowner is unable to see it from the ground.  Ice dams become noticeable on the ground from long hanging icicles, however, the beginning of an ice dam is rarely spotted.

Fiction: Ice dams need to be thick to cause problems.

Ice dams as little as one inch thick can cause major problems for a homeowner.  A general rule is that the steeper the roof, the thicker the ice dam needs to be in order to cause problems.  On lower pitched roofs, even one inch ice dams can cause minor issues if not taken care of immediately.

Ice dams can cause significant damage to your roof, gutters, windows, and siding. They can also be dangerous to remove on your own risking injury to yourself and more damage to your home. If your home suffers from gutter or roof damage or you need an ice dam removed from your home, contact the experts at Custom Installations. We offer quality gutter and home ventilation services along with snow and ice dam removal.

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