Fall is the time to get your New Paltz home prepped to avoid Ice Damming during an Ulster County Winter!
If you live in the Hudson Valley, you’re familiar with the amount of snow and freezing cold temps that can occur in the winter months. You might have experienced or have heard the stories about ice damming and the headaches it can cause.
Ice Dams can occur when there are several inches of snow on the roof and the outside air hovers in the low 20’s for many days. Poor attic insulation increases the chances of a problem too. Ice dams form when heated air melts roof snow down into water stuck behind ice. When the water is dammed and has nowhere to flow through the gutter system, it can back flow under shingles and inside your home.
The goal is to stop snow and ice from melting, keeping your attic as cold as possible and clearing icicles and snow build up from the roof and gutters.Here are some helpful prevention tips you can do ahead of winter to avoid an ice damming problem:
- Keep the attic air temperature below freezing when the outside air temperature is in the low 20’s.
- Install more insulation in the attic floor to prevent warm household air getting into the attic.
- Have good ventilation in the attic to consistently replace warm air that might rise to the attic with cold outside air.
- Keep the bottom 3-6 feet of your roof clear of snow but be careful not to damage any shingles.
- Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris. The more clogged they are, the higher the chances of the heavy ice build-up happening.
- Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic: vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures are all possibilities.
- Do some research to see IF installing a heat cable along the eaves is right for your home.
- Inspect, or have your roof and attic inspected for proper ventilation and insulation.
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation: rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof. That mildew smell is telltale of mold growth, SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz offers FREE mold inspections. Mold isn’t something that should wait to be remedied.
- If you have soffit vents in your eaves, make sure they are not blocked and insulation surrounding them is secured so that air can flow easily.
If ice damming happens despite your best efforts, keep in mind the following:
-Don’t chip away at the ice, that will damage the shingles no matter how hard you try not to.
-Don’t install a water heater or other mechanical equipment in the attic.
-Don’t use salt or calcium chloride to melt the snow, they are super corrosive and can cause problems with gutters, downspouts and flashings. The runoff from these will also cause harm to plants and grass.
The best solution is to call a roofing specialist to locate the leak and seal everything. Then call SERVPRO of Kingston/New Paltz to remediate the water damage. We’re available for emergencies 24/7 at (845)255-4334. Our certified water damage technicians will take care of the damage Like it never even happened.