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ice damming

Ice Damming in Greater Missoula, MT

Ice damming on a MT home's roof and gutters

A closeup of ice damming in MT.

Ice damming creates more than just exterior damage to the rain gutter system, but also causes water to leak into the attic, soaking the wood, insulation, the flooring/upstairs ceiling, and even the valuables being stored up there.

Dr. Energy Saver can prevent this all from happening by keeping the roof cold -- by sealing air leaks and improving the attic insulation.

Preventing and Removing Ice Damming in Montana

Our insulation and air sealing keeps your attic at the right temperature and conditions to prevent and in some cases remove ice damming in Lolo, Missoula, Frenchtown, Alberton, Lakeside, Clinton, Florence, Huson, Bonner, Bigfork, and more!

If your home is experiencing ice dams, call us for a free inspection and estimate to prevent ice dams in the future.

Damage from An Ice Dam

Ice dams are common wherever rooftop snow has a day or two to become the telltale "icicles at the roof's edge."

Once developed, water often seeps into the attic, soaking the wall insulation, interior ceiling, and wall surfaces. Such ice accumulation outside the house can ruin gutters and even pose a safety hazard.

Homeowners' stress becomes understandable when a "perfectly good" house suddenly sustains hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damage. However, once you understand the causes of an ice dam, you can take these few simple steps to avoid further damage to your home or structure.

What Causes an Ice Dam?

A drop-down stair leading to an attic

If there's an attic hatch or drop-down stair that hasn't been well sealed or insulated, lots of warm air will leak up into this area, causing more snow to melt on the roof surface immediately above.

In addition, the roof will always be coldest along the edge because it projects beyond the exterior walls, where heat from the house isn't available.

Ice dams begin with snow accumulation, closely followed by a warming rooftop and melting snow.

As we all know, the deeper the snow, the deeper the trouble. Snow that melts in upper areas of the roof freezes at the eaves, forming icicles, filling gutters with ice, and creating a "ridge" or "dam" that can channel melted water into the attic and living space.

A roof begins to heat up when the warm air from the lower living space leaks into the attic, view example to right. The snow will begin to melt unevenly -- because some parts of the roof will be warmer than others.

In fact, the roof edge is where the melted water re-freezes and forms an ice dam. Sometimes, water freezes in the gutters, filling them with ice.

In other situations, the water freezes right at the edge of the roof before it even reaches the gutters. Either way, the resulting ridge of ice forms a dam that creates a reservoir of water. When this happens, it's only a matter of time before the water seeps beneath roof shingles and leaks into the attic.

How To Prevent Ice Damming

  1. The Golden Rule: Keep the Roof Cold:

    If the roof is cold, the snow won't melt on the upper rooftop and re-freeze at the eaves. Ideally, the temperature of the entire roof should depend upon the exterior temperature, instead of the heat leaking into the attic from the living space. If the roof is thermally isolated from the home's living space, then a uniform temperature is extended from eave to ridge keeping the roof ice dam free.

    Since an ice dam is the direct effect of most homeowners' struggle with air leaks and inadequate attic insulation, heat transfer between the living space and the roof surface must be eliminated.

  2. Steps to Take: Air-Seal and Insulate the Attic:

    You can separate the living space and roof surface by having a skilled professional perform air sealing on the attic, and install the recommended levels of home insulation. Air leaks between the living space and the attic can be difficult to find and seal. That's why it's important to have this work done by experienced workers such as those at Dr. Energy Saver.

Ice Damming Solutions in MT

If your guests have to dodge icicles while walking to your front door, your home has already fallen victim to ice damming. With the appropriate air sealing and attic insulation, your Dr. Energy Saver expert will have your home's roof warming up and the icicle formations in remission. Your guests no longer have to run to the door with trash can lids above their heads for protection.

Start Saving Energy and money with an ice dam prevention upgrade.

Call or contact us online to schedule a free home inspection and ice dam prevention estimate.

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Serving MT including the Greater Missoula area
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