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How do I fix an ice dam on my roof?

ice dam roof

Dealing With Roof Damage and More

We will start this article by answer the most common question when somebody is told they have an ice dam roof issue:  What is an ice dam on the roof? What is an ice dam? An ice dam is created when snow melts and refreezes, results of an unusually warm roof, which results from an attic not having the proper amount of insulation. 

With a poorly insulated attic, the warmth from the house transfers through the attic and onto the roof, then snow melts. The droplets from that melting snow runs down the roof and when they get to the roof edge, they refreeze on the eaves because there isn’t warm air there. As more snow melts and runs down and refreezes, the ice keeps building and that creates the ice dam roof, and water from more melting snow can’t go anywhere. 

With that commonly asked question answered, we’ll move on to other questions, answering them with details that will educate and inform you about ice dam for rooftops. Connect with Swift Services LLC, 248-835-1135, about an ice dam roof in Troy, MI for even more information.

Do ice dams always cause damage? 

Next to the question we addressed in the last paragraph, the next question is “Can ice dams cause roof damage?” The answer to this is yes, ice dams can trigger various types of damage. It will damage the roof covering, and as the temperature reaches freezing again, that water will refreeze on the roof under the shingles in the gutters. Besides causing damage to the roof and gutters, the water will seep through the attic and onto the ceiling, down the walls. Paint peels on the inside and outside the house, the plaster is damaged, and it ruins the insulation in your attic. 

Will ice dams melt on their own?

If the attic is getting warm air from the house and that heat escape to the roof, the cycle of melting, thawing, refreezing will keep repeating itself. An ice dam for roof edge will not melt until the temperature is above freezing and the sun warms up the exterior of the roof.  

Ice dam roof edge will get heavier as it keeps repeating the process, and left long enough, which is common in the northern regions of the country, it will begin damaging the roof and gutter.  Ice dams are a danger to anyone or any pet that walks under it. Here we offer three ways you can complete an Ice dam removal

1.   Fill long socks with calcium chloride, tie the ends with a string the place them vertically over the ice dam roof edge, hanging approximately two inches over. This will melt the ice in a tube-like channel and allow any other water from melted ice to run off the roof. 

2.   This method will require getting up on the snow- and ice-covered roof, which can be dangerous. Using a mallet, break the ice dam roof, being careful. Then follow the above method with calcium chloride and socks placed where you’ve broken the ice.    

3.   The best method, and recommended method, is hire a professional roofer who will use steam to melt the ice after shoveling off loose snow and creating channels for the melting ice dam rooftop to run through.   

dripping ice dam roof

How do you stop ice dams from forming? 

As a homeowner, knowing how to repair ice dam roof will prevent damage to the roof, gutter system fascia and soffit. It will prevent anyone or an animal that could walk under the eaves of your house being hurt. 

  • After a snowfall, rake the snow 3 to 4 feet off the lower edge of your roof. This is when the snow is softest and the easiest to remove.  
  • Add insulation in the attic so that the heat can’t transfer to the roof, triggering the thaw and refreeze cycle that creates ice dam roof edges. 
  • Seal the attic where any possible air flow could leak. Even with ample amount of insulation in the attic, the warm air from the living space of your home still enters the attic. By sealing these possible leaks, it will eliminate the interior air flow from escaping. Areas that to seal are the plumbing and sewer vent pipes.
  • Install attic vents if your roof doesn’t have any, and if you do have attic vents, check them to make sure they are not blocked. 
  • Install deicing cables, even though they are visible, they will keep ice dam roof edge from forming. Be careful not to dislodge them when raking the roof after a snow fall.  
  • Have a deicing system professionally installed beneath the shingles the next time you have a new roof installed.

Are ice dams covered by insurance? 

If an ice dam roof edge has developed, but there isn’t any damage to your home, no, there is nothing to be covered. Nor will a homeowner’s policy pay to have an ice dam removed. This is considered homeowner responsibility, much like visual inspection of the roof, wrapping plumbing to prevent burst pipes, etc.  

These are all basic homeowners responsibility to take measures that protect your home from possible issues that can cause damage, such as ice dam on roof prevention. It is always best to check your policy and ask your agent about what they cover in your policy. 

icicles and ice dam roof

Dial 248-835-1135 to Get Started Today

Ice dam roof edges may look like a picture from a movie, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly. What looks “pretty” could very well cause ugly damage to the house and the danger they pose for anyone walking by isn’t pretty. Call our team at 248-835-1135 for more about an ice dam roof in Troy, MI.

Does Attic Insulation Help in Winter?

Attic Roof Insulated

How does attic insulation help?

If your home lacks insulation, you might have heard about the many benefits of insulation and how you’re missing out. This, you’re hearing from almost every guest that walks into your new (or not so new home). However, how will you ever know if attic insulation is right for you? And most important of all, if attic insulation will help during the winter. 

Will attic insulation keep your home warmer? What are, exactly, all of the benefits of having insulation, really? Throughout this article, we’re going to walk you through the most frequently asked questions about attic insulation and hopefully, shed some light on your doubts. Let’s dive in.

How thick should attic insulation be?

Is there such a thing as too thick of attic insulation in your home? The short answer is no. You can insulate your attic with as much material as your space is able to hold. However, a more accurate answer has to do with the climate and energy of the area you live in. For instance, if you live in an area where it’s 70 degrees year-round you probably don’t spend a lot of money on energy. Unfortunately, the perfect climate doesn’t exist for most of us, so keeping the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is how we spend most of our money on energy bills. You can ask an insulation contractor for the best advice on this.

Can you Over Insulate your Attic?

Since we’ve just covered thickness, let’s discuss how much is too much. If your home is over-insulated this may cause it to be too tightly sealed and moisture can get trapped inside. This will also prevent proper ventilation and your home will end up storing more moisture and lower your indoor quality. However, most homes in our country are under-insulated.

So yes, you can over insulate your attic. However, this isn’t a common denominator in homes. Also, if you have mold in your home this doesn’t necessarily mean your home is over insulated.

Attic Insulation & Ventilation

Now, if you’re interested in reaping the benefits of insulation, you can learn a bit more about ventilation as well. If you ever decide on the proper insulation of your attic, you can cut down up to 30% of heating and cooling costs in your home, which is a pretty considerable amount.

However, make sure you get in touch with a good contractor in order to properly insulate the attic. A good contractor should be able to insulate it without losing the proper ventilation every attic needs, especially for the summer season.

Can You Put New Insulation Over Old?

If you’re looking to renew the insulation in your attic, yes, you can install new insulation over old insulation. There is no need to spend more money on having it removed. You can simply hire a contractor to place new fresh insulation over the existing one.

Attic Insulation Benefits

If you’re still not sure, here are some benefits of insulating your home:

  • Lower your utility bills considerably
  • A safer and stable home structure
  • Improvement of indoor air quality
  • Improvement of indoor comfort
  • Avoid your HVAC from wearing and tearing too soon

Will Adding Insulation in the Attic Make a Difference?

Yes, it will make a huge difference in your utility bills and not only that. You will improve the air quality in your home and the overall comfort in which your family lives. This is basically due to the insulation material trapping huge amounts of dust and allergens in the attic.

The Best Type of Insulation for an Attic

Every attic insulation has its own pros and cons. The best way to learn which is best for your home and climate is to speak to a professional. Swift Services LLC’s professional contractors will be happy to stop by and talk about the benefits of certain insulation types and which is the best suited for you.

Some of the most popular types of insulation are:

  • Fiberglass batts
  • Cellulose
  • Loose-fill fiberglass
  • Spray foam

All of these have different properties and insulate in a different way. Ask your trustworthy contractor which is the best for you.

Is Attic Insulation Toxic?

Coming into contact with any sort of insulation material without the proper equipment can be hazardous. For instance, fiberglass can damage your skin. Why? This is due to the tiny fiberglass particles. If you have too much contact with this material, it can irritate your skin and cause inflammation and dermatitis. Breathing in fiberglass can increase in difficulty breathing. This is why every insulation contractor will wear protective suits and gear when working in attics with any chemicals. Also, if you’re interested in insulation cleaning, you should know that you can clean it. Mainly due to dirt, dust, and rodents. However, you should either call a professional or wear protective gear.

Get In Touch If You Want Attic Insulation Installed

Attic insulation is amazing for the winter and not only that, it’s amazing all around. Have it installed! If you need attic insulation in Troy, MI installed or replaced, count on the professionals at Swift Services LLC. We provide a full range of insulation and roofing services. Schedule us today by calling 248-835-1135.