News : Warmer Days and Colder Nights Pose Ice Dam Threats

Mar 12, 2015

Originally published on Portsmouth Patch. 

By Mark Quirk

PORTSMOUTH – Proper insulation has taken on a whole new level of importance this winter. Not only has it been essential to keep the heat in and the cold out for comfort, but it has also been crucial to the safety of homeowners.

That’s because the roof of a properly insulated house is less likely to collapse, or leak, under the pressure of snow and ice dams. Ice dams form when an inordinate amount of heat escapes through the roof, a striking indication that the roof and attic are poorly insulated.

“As more snow continues to melt, the dam expands and the water backs up the roof to the point where it works under the shingles, past any ice and water shield that may have been installed when the roof was done. And voila, we get water into our homes, soaking insulation, sheetrock, wood and all other things that a roof is supposed to protect,” said Micum Davis, owner of Cornerstone Tree Care.

Cornerstone is an environmental tree service company that also services ice dams during the winter and early-spring months using eco-friendly techniques.

“Many ice melt products are corrosive to pets, plants, concrete and grass,” said Davis. “Calcium magnesium acetate is one of the more environmentally-friendly products and it works above 20 degrees F. Magnesium chloride works at much lower temperatures, and is still less corrosive for plants than rock salt and other available products.”

Read the full story on Portsmouth Patch here.