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Extension > Source - Spring/Summer 2007 > Summer is the best time to prevent ice dams

Summer is the best time to prevent ice dams

Icicles

While it's hard to think about winter as temperatures soar, summer is the perfect time to do projects that will prevent ice dams, reduce energy costs and increase comfort next winter.

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and damage walls, ceilings and insulation. Preventive measures include increasing the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss, making the ceiling airtight and adding natural roof ventilation.

Homeowners can conserve energy and reduce the potential for ice dams by making the ceiling air tight so no warm air can flow from the house into the attic space, according to Richard Stone, Extension educator in housing technology. Plugging leaks and adding insulation can reduce energy use in homes by 20 to 30 percent.

For more information on ice dams, see www.extension.umn.edu/go/1002

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