Chicago Winters can be especially unforgiving. Just ask anyone who lives in the area. From the suburbs to the city (and all across the state for that matter) a lot of the problems homeowners face are typical to the area. One of the most common: Ice Dams. You might know this by another name - 'icicles'. And, although they are a sought after and cherished holiday decor, (and sometimes harmless) they have the potential to wreak serious havoc on your home if left unchecked.
How an Ice Dam Forms
Ice Dams generally form when warmer air in your attic heats the roof and begins to melt the snow. The melted snow then runs down and begins to collects on the colder areas, like eaves and gutters. Then, they freeze again, this time creating a dam blocking the melting snow above it, giving the water a chance to accumulate on the warmer parts of your roof. As this cycle continues it causes irreversible damage to your tiles and the roof decking underneath them. If you don’t prevent or remove the Ice Dams before this process begins, it can cause significant water damage to both your roof and the inside of your home.
How to Prevent them.
- Firstly, Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and unobstructed before the winter season starts. This ensures that water will flow and drain unobstructed.
- Make sure your attic is insulated properly. This means no gaps or spaces with missing insulation between your ceiling and the attic floor. The objective here is to keep heat from the interior of your home from reaching the attic.
Provide sufficient ventilation to the attic to keep the roof cool. The temperature in your attic should be hardly different from the temperature outside.
I think Ice Damming has already occurred, what do I do?
If you spot an Ice Dam on your home, it's best to address the issue immediately. Be vigilant and keep prevention in mind as the seasons change. They form practically over night and can cause severe water and mold damage inside your home that is both costly, and NOT covered by most homeowners insurance policies. This means you, the homeowner, are stuck with the expense and headache of extensive repairs.
If you see any leaks, stains or spotting on your ceiling it could be from damage related to Ice Damming. Call Mackey General Contractors at 630-519-4000 or click here to contact us and set up a free estimate for repair. Our services related to these types of damages may be covered by your homeowners insurance.