Ice Dams: What Causes Them to Form?
January 10, 2017 Comments Off on Ice Dams: What Causes Them to Form? Attic, Insulation, Prevent Mold Ben Fetzer

What Causes Ice Dams?

Have you been keeping your house warm this winter? We hope so! We hope your house is well-insulated so that none of that heat is slipping out of your house! Having the proper insulation in your attic is an important factor in keeping you and your family warm this winter and help you avoid some unpleasant situations like ice dams!

The process of an ice dam forming starts with the heat from inside your home escapes through the roof. The heat warms the shingles and makes the snowmelt. As soon as that melted snow runs down the roof and touches the ice-cold gutter, it turns into ice. The shingles are still warm, however, so more snow melts and freezes on top of the first layer of ice until it builds up into a thick patch of ice in your gutter and on your roof.

Because there is no gutter for the water to drain into, water will seep into the walls and ceiling of your house, causing water damage and leaks. That water damage can, in turn, lead to mold growth. If the insulation in your attic becomes wet, it will be even more ineffective, which means that more heat will escape through your attic and melt more snow and create another ice dam. A vicious cycle until your attic is well-insulated.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Because heat rises, the heat from your house naturally goes to the highest point of your house, which in most cases is an attic. However, a well-insulated attic will result in the heat staying inside. If not, then you will probably have the majority of your heat going right out of your house.

For cold Midwestern areas, it is best that you have between R39-R69. To attain the higher R-value, greater depth of insulation required. For example, 10” of blow-in insulation is approximately an R25 value. Standard building practice uses 6-12” of insulation in attics which is much less than even the minimum amount suggested by Energy Star. Adding an additional 10 or 20 inches of insulation isn’t that expensive and will be much more beneficial in the long run. If your attic doesn’t have the insulation it needs, your house will lose heat through the attic and can cause ice dams.


Things to Consider: Hiring an Expert

Do you have an ice dam and don’t know what to do about the damage? Are you wanting to prevent ice dams in the future and improve your home’s overall efficiency? At Fresh Start Restoration our certified professionals know more than mold. With over 15 years of experience and multiple certifications in water damage restoration, we are ready to help with your ice dam problems. In addition, we are able to provide attic insulation services to prevent future ice dams and improve your home’s energy efficiency. With award-winning customer service, the professionals at Fresh Start will ensure that you receive the quality service you and your family deserve.

About The Author
Ben Fetzer Ben Fetzer, is the founder and owner of Fresh Start Restoration of Kansas City. He is passionate about informing and educating you the customer. By providing you with insider industry information, he empowers you with knowledge and tools to properly compare companies and spot unethical sales practices. Which unfortunately is far too common in the mold remediation industry. By sharing stories and providing professional tips he gives you the ability to make the right decision for your mold problem! Ben is an experienced mold expert with over 15 years in the cleaning & restoration industry! He has received official training and certifications from the IICRC, ICRA, and NORMI. His history of high integrity and superior quality has made him a leader in the remediation industry. Thereby giving customers outstanding customer experience! Which has resulted in a long history of consistent 5-Star customer ratings since the company began in 2008!