Your HomeTeamKC Report
January Issue: Ice Dams
Welcome to the January issue of The HomeTeamKC Report. This monthly report provides REALTORS® and Homeowners with helpful information about residential homes from a home inspector's perspective.
This issue focuses on a timely winter topic: Ice Damming. Last month's issue dealt with Grading and Drainage topics and is archived on our website. Over time you will have access there to a complete library of short lessons on the workings of a typical house.
We know and respect how busy you are, so we've tried to make this easy to read and use. The illustrations are packed with information and will reward careful review. If pressed for time now, try taking one illustration today, one or two another day, and so on.
Thanks for your interest and call or email us anytime with any questions you may have.
P.S. If you have problems viewing this newsletter in your email browser, click this link to view this and past newsletters from our archives.
P.P.S. Only a few of our agents are obtaining the CBS (call before showing) codes from the listing agent. I have a SUPRA key, however, as an affiliate, I can only access an I-Box with the CBS code. Each I-Box has a CBS code assigned to it. Obtaining the CBS code can save you time, and is a great backup if you are running late to an inspection. Thanks.
What you’ll find in this issue of
the HomeTeamKC Report:
·This Month’s Featured Topic
·Quick Access to Our Most Recent (January 2005) Pricing Sheet
·Knowledge is Power
Ice Dams are Damaging, Dangerous and Preventable
A cubic foot of snow can weigh as much as 30 lbs. Multiply that times the area of your roof and you get a good idea of the kind of strain that can result when snow piles up overhead through the winter. The longer it remains, the higher the moisture content and weight become. The buildup of moisture leads to the formation of ice dams.
Ice dams can cause water to migrate into interior walls and ceilings. The damage to plaster, paint, wallpaper results in substantial repair costs. The risks don't end there. Water seeks channels. Often this leads to water following the path of electrical wiring to ceiling fixtures and wall sockets.
The following graphic illustrates some of the signs of ice damming problems.
Ice Dam Causes
Ice dams result when melting snow warmed by heat escaping from beneath the upper portion of the roof re-freezes when it reaches the colder edges of the roof. Additional moisture then accumulates behind the blockage. As the pool deepens, water finds opening under shingles or seeps through gaps in the flashing.
The course of the penetration is often difficult to follow, as the path of least resistance can cause water to make numerous turns as it exploits subsequent openings on its way to appearing as a stain on the ceiling or in the form of cracking paint or peeling wallpaper.
Ice Dam Prevention
Improving your attic’s insulation is the most effective strategy for combating ice dams. The higher the R rating of the insulation the better. Remember, the object is to make the roof as uniformly close to the ambient outdoor temperature as possible.
Homes in cold climate zones that receive significant snowfall should be protected with ceiling insulation that has an R rating of at least 38 and is about 12" deep. Seal openings around plumbing and wiring that will allow warm air to escape from below with aerosol foam (exercise caution, as this type of material expands after escaping the can). Good roof venting also plays an important role in preventing the melting that feeds the formation of ice dams.
Another solution is to install some form of eave protection that prevents water from entering the roof space
Keep in mind, however, that eave protection only addresses the symptoms of ice dams. Good attic insulation and ventilation help prevent ice dams.
Even if you are able to eliminate or minimize the formation of ice dams, leaving large quantities of snow on your roof can result in structural damage and pose a risk to plants, pets and people if it slides off in mass.
One solution is to install avalanche guards. These are most often seen on slate, clay and concrete roofs.
For many, a well designed roof or snow rake is the safest, most effective way to remove snow from roof areas. When selecting a roof rake, keep in mind that even though it is as light as a feather as it falls, accumulated snow becomes heavy. Many roof rakes are lightweight and flimsy. Look for one that is sturdy and durable. Sharp edges can also cause damage to shingles and siding, so selecting one with rounded edges and wheels to keep the blade slightly above the roof surfaces is also a good idea. Be sure that the roof rake has an adequate reach – at least 16 feet – and that the pole comes in sections that separate easily for convenient storage.
The Illustrated Home Return to Table of Contents
As a service to you and your clients, we have compiled a checklist of minor items often found in need of repair during a whole house inspection. If repairs are needed, plan to do them before the professional inspection is performed. It will ensure a smoother sale and contribute to a positive home inspection experience.
Click here to view checklists for exterior, plumbing and electrical.
- Do wall and ceiling surfaces have holes or cracks that need patching?
- Do all the windows have operable latches?
- Can all the windows be opened and closed properly?
- Do any of the windows have cracked panes or broken seals?
- Do windows need caulking?
- Are any of the windows painted shut?
- Are stair railings loose?
- Are moldings loose, broken or missing?
- Do interior doors stick, or open and close smoothly?
- Are kitchen or bathroom tiles cracked?
- Can you explain the existence or repair of old water penetration stains on walls and ceilings?
- Does the chimney damper open and close properly?
- Does the chimney need cleaning?
©The HomeTeam Return to Table of Contents
Knowledge is Power
Learn the Secrets of Effective Networking
It's 6:50 a.m. at an early-riser business-and-technology conference at the Museum of Science in Boston. A model of Skylab hangs from the high ceiling of the upper concourse, giving the room an other-worldly feeling. The attendees, a mix of about 750 business people, entrepreneurs, techies and venture capitalists, have come to scout clients, investors, or jobs. That's certainly what drew Diane Darling, author of The Networking Survival Guide. Darling is a corporate consultant, business school lecturer, and sought after as an expert in networking. As the conference begins, she straightens her name tag, pops a mint and strides the crowd.....
Click here to continue on and learn some good tips for working a room.
courtesy of Diane Darling,
Effective Networking Inc.
Return to Table of Contents
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