Last winter was the toughest in recent history in terms of Minnesota ice dams. If your home experienced ice dam issues that you are looking for a permanent solution for, now is the best time to act. Ice dams are more than just an annoyance; they are a sign that your home’s insulation system isn’t working the way it should be. Until the root cause of the problem is identified and fixed, ice dams may continue to be an issue in your home.
Minnesota ice dams are caused by uneven heat inside a home. To solve the problem, you will need to analyze your home’s insulation and ventilation while also searching for any possible sources of air leakage.
Below, Minnesota insulation expert Snap Construction has provided a list of possible issues that contribute to ice dams. While many of these issues are things you can identify yourself, you will want to trust a BPI certified expert to analyze and test your home to make sure all potential contributing factors are taken care of. If your home is plagued by multiple items on this list, as many Minnesota homes are, solving one problem may not necessarily remove your risk of ice dams next year.
- Check to make sure your home has adequate insulation. If it doesn’t, the good news is that it’s a relatively easy and affordable fix to your ice dam issue. Make sure to follow local codes and select the proper r factor and amount for the size of your home’s attic.
- Check your home’s existing ventilation system. In an ideal system, you will have a ridge vent paired with soffit vents with equal size openings. To make sure that enough ventilation exists, you will want to make sure you have a 1 square foot opening for every 300 feet of attic floor square footage.
- Make sure that the vents have clear, unobstructed access. Insulation, or anything else, blocking air’s ability to move freely through your vents is going to prevent proper ventilation.
- Make sure any kitchen, laundry, or bath vents go directly outside through the roof or walls and not through to attic or soffit.
- Make sure that there are no leaks. Install sealed can lights and have it tested by a BPI certified insulations contractor to see if air is leaking anyone else that can be sealed.
- Check your chimney flashing. There should be no gap. If there is, you will need to seal it with an added metal piece.
- Caulk any penetrations.
If you are looking for a permanent solution to your home’s past Minnesota ice dam issues, then call a Minnesota insulation expert. As long as they stick to the above checklist and fix any problem areas they find, next winter should be worry and ice-dam free.
This information is brought to you by the Minnesota ice dam experts at Snap Construction.