February 3, 2015

Ice dams are as predictable as the seasons during our cold, snowy Midwestern Winters. Homeowners are often oblivious to the damage that these large waves of ice can do until water starts intruding into the home. Although some ice damming is not unusual, excessive ice damming needs to be addressed before significant damage can occur. The solution to this problem requires an understanding of the underlying causes.

Ice dams are created when significant snowpacks on the roof are melted from the bottom up. The melting is facilitated by heat buildup from within the attic space or in some cases, the space between the slope ceilings and the roof sheating above. As the snow is melted it runs down the roof line until it hits the colder shingles directly above the soffit and then refreezes. Over time this ice along the soffit builds up pushing the gutter away from the roof. Often times it backs up the roof and the water underneath will work its way underneath the shingles and then into the home. Huge ice cycles hanging from the edge of the roof are often the most visible symptom of the problem.

So the question becomes what can be done to address this problem and avoid the potential it has for bringing dirty water into the home and damaging the walls and ceiling in the process. Some homeowners have taken to installing heating wires along the roof edge to keep the ice from building up. This can help, but this is attacking the sympton and ignoring the source of the problem which is the excessive snow melt above. 

In most cases addressing the ice damming problem is best achieved by improving the air sealing and attic insulation in the attics and/or rafters below. Cutting off the source of warm air in that space not only addresses the problem with the ice dams, but it also provides for a more comfortable and energy efficient home. Coupled with adequate attic ventilation to allow heat that does make its way into the attic to dissipate, ice dams and the damage that they bring can become a thing of the past. For more information as to how Energy360 Solutions can address your problems with ice dams and other related problems, feel free to contact us at 630-422-1941.

  • Leslie DiMaggio, Fox River Grove, IL

    I want to tell you that we are COMPLETELY satisfied with the work you guys did at the house... The house definitely feels cooler. We know you guys made an extra effort with us and also gave us a great price. We love you guys!!!!!!!! I have already recommended you to three people. Thanks!

  • Nina Brakel, Park Ridge, IL

    We LOVE the new windows. I can't believe what a difference it has made in the house - it is soooooo peaceful upstairs now. And, the outside of the house looks new! Thank you! And, you were great to work with - thank you. Gregg and I both commented on your professionalism and knowledge.

  • Toby Trabert, Oak Park, IL

    I own a Victorian style home that desperately needed insulation. I hired Energy360 Solutions and they discovered major air leakage through the many nooks and crannies of my attic.

  • Scott Gillis, Woodridge, IL

    My home was uncomfortable. It was so difficult to keep it warm in the winter and there was no sound barrier. We could hear everything that was going on outside. We needed insulation and called Energy360 Solutions. They provided us with a great solution using dense packed Cellulose insulation.

  • The Holzl Family, Mt Prospect, IL

    After 14 years of living in our house, and suffering each winter in our chilly family room built over a crawlspace, we hired Energy360 Solutions to perform an energy audit of our entire house. One of their findings was that we were losing heat out of the wall joists of the crawlspace.

  • Ken & Julie Kittredge, Mt Prospect, IL

    Our first ever energy audit from Energy360 solutions was a very exciting and interactive experience. We learned so much about the energy efficiencies of our home or better said the lack of efficiencies.

  • Mark Hoffmeister, Mt Prospect, IL

    Our home was sealed and insulated in March 2014. The results were immediate. The house air conditioning was improved especially in the upper floors. This cold winter comfort improvement in heating the house was successful.