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Tuesday, December 21 2021
What Are Ice Dams and How Do You Avoid Them?

Ice dams will inevitably form in the gutters of your Philadelphia home at some point this winter or in the winters ahead. However, you are not powerless against ice dams. If you own a home, it is in your interest to learn how to prevent ice dams from forming. Here’s exactly how to eliminate the potential of ice dams forming in the gutters of your Philadelphia-area home.

A Brief Explanation of Ice Dams

Ice dams form when the warm air from a living space moves into the attic. The warm air heats the roof, melting snow that has accumulated above. The melted snow moves to the edge of the roof and freezes within the gutters to form an ice dam. The snow that remains is trapped and starts to build up below the roof shingles. Ice dams are a significant problem as they can cause considerable damage to the roof and possibly even lead to leaks that send water into your living space.

Use a Snow Rake

A snow rake safeguards your roof and everything below, albeit to a limited extent. Spend the little bit of money necessary for a snow rake and you’ll rest easy knowing you’ve done your part to prevent the snow from accumulating to the point that it can create ice dams. Clear out all snow that accumulates and you won’t spend a single second worrying about whether an ice dam will develop.

Clean the Gutters

Leaves, branches, twigs, and other gunk will set the stage for ice dams to form. Clear out the gutters to create a path for melting snow to drain off of the roof and those annoying ice dams won’t have a chance of forming.

Add Ventilation to the Attic

A properly ventilated attic will help maintain the roof during the winter months. The natural movement of outside air into the attic ensures it does not become cold to the point that ice dams form.

Use an Electric Heat Cable

If you cannot or do not want to enhance ventilation and decrease the sources of heat against the interior surface of the roof, you should consider adding a cable for electric heat. This cable can extend along the roofline’s edge to the gutters. The looping of such a heat cable around the perimeter of the roof stops melting water from cooling to the point that it freezes when it connects with the eaves. The melted water will transition down to the ground below instead of freezing.

Though heat cables aren’t exactly visually striking, they help prevent the formation of ice dams when installed the right way. Just be sure to carefully follow the directions provided by the manufacturer during installation and properly maintain the heat cable moving forward so it doesn’t pose a threat to your property or your loved ones. When in doubt, ask for help from the professionals.

Consider Ice Dam Prevention Products

The market has plenty of ice dam prevention products available for homeowners throughout the greater Philadelphia area and beyond. As an example, adhesive barriers that stretch three feet to six feet upwards along the roof from its edge serve as a self-seal of sorts that waterproofs the roof. Simply shingle atop this barrier and it will help prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.

Contact Barner Murphy Today

Our plumbing specialists and bathroom remodeling team will bring out the best in your home. If you have any plumbing issues or considering a bathroom remodel, contact us today. You can reach our plumbing professionals by phone at 215-945-8560.

Posted by: AT 08:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Barner Murphy Inc. - Bucks County - Plumbing
7204 Hibbs Lane, Levittown, PA 19057 | Phone - 215-945-8560

Licensed Master Plumbers
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