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Ice Dam Fails & Fixes

02 March 2019

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226 or texting 81807.  Here’s the must-know information our COO, Andy Lindus, shared on 3.2.19.

The presence of icicles on a home can give homeowners cause for concern.  Although they don’t always signal the presence of ice dams, however, they can still spell trouble in other ways.   In extreme situations, ice and snow falling off a roof can damage a home’s seamless gutters.  Homeowners that have LeafGuard® Brand Gutters enjoy the ultimate peace of mind.  The patented system has a warranty that stipulates if the gutters misshapen, pull loose or damage because of ice, it is fixed free of charge.  Unlike ordinary gutters, LeafGuard® does not build ice up onto a home’s roof.  The patented design discourages anything except liquid water from entering the trough.

ice on gutters

In the event that icicles are the result of an ice dam, it’s wise to work with a reputable contractor to get to the root of the issue.  Fixes such as throwing salt pucks on a roof can actually leave residual stains on asphalt roofs and cause corrosion in one-piece gutters.  Heat coils also fail to provide a permanent solution.  By performing a heat map analysis, a contractor identifies areas of the home that are losing energy.  This includes taking a hard look at the state of a home’s ventilation, basement, and attic insulation by recommending areas for improvement.  Beware of any contractor that doesn’t take the time to fully diagnose all areas of concern, as each home has its own unique needs.

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Some of trickiest homes to insulate are those that are a story and a half.  This is because they lack a conventional attic.  Rafters should be hard packed with cellulose insulation and encapsulated with spray foam on the roof deck in the knee wall area, the floor, and the interior walls.  This approach prevents heat loss and attic condensation.

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