Two years back we had an unusually snowy and cold winter. The extreme temperatures and precipitation tested many a house here in Iowa. Our house escaped but my brother ended up having to replace the roof on his recently renovated four seasons porch. Ice dams had formed in this addition to the house because they hadn't properly insulated the area.
What causes ice dams? When snow accumulates on your roof, it eventually melts off. The melting usually doesn't occur until the shingles of your roof get to a temperature above the freezing point. This warming can happen two ways: the winter sun or from heat coming from below the snow through your attic. If the heat is coming from your house, it means you either have a leak in your attic or inadequate attic insulation. When the heat melts the snow and the snow refreezes at night, it becomes ice.
What can you do to avoid the problem? The most likely Attic Insulation Brothers is an air leak, especially if you have a newer home. Most new homes have adequate attic insulation but it is difficult to seal all holes. Even small passageways for air from the house to the attic can heat things up enough to cause an ice dam. So step one is to find and seal holes with caulk or foam insulation. Step two is to add attic insulation; reflective foil is a good choice.
Lincoln is a resource for homeowners seeking to save energy, lower their utility bills with attic insulation, and improve the life of their HVAC system. As an experienced residential carpenter, Lincoln gained firsthand experience with improving the quality and efficiency of homes in his Midwest community. Seeking a more effective way to heat and cool his home, he discovered radiant barrier foil insulation and now spends his time helping others do the same.
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