Best Home Insulation & Ventilation Practices To Combat Ice Dams

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement quandaries addressed by calling or texting 651-461-9226.  Here’s the must-know information our COO, Andy Lindus, shared on 1.1.22.

Understanding Home Ventilation, Insulation, & Air Leaks

Many times, when homeowners are experiencing inadequate insulation and ventilation they wrongly assume and blame their home’s entry doors and windows for drafts in their home.  Quality home insulation contractors look at the overall residence to understand the building’s envelope.  That’s because if the home’s attic is an issue and it’s leaking warm air, the home’s interior warm air is rising.  The more air that leaves through a home’s attic, the more the home will try and equalize the pressure through its windows and doors, especially if they are already leaking air.

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Ice Dam Formation & Using Insulation Installation To Combat It

An ice dam normally occurs when heat loss occurs in the interior of a home and is able to make its way up to the roof deck causing the snow to melt until it gets to a point on the roof deck where the heat is no longer present.  When that happens, the water refreezes.  Over time, it refreezes enough that the water becomes trapped and unable to exit the roof.  The longer the water can sit, the greater the opportunity for a roof leak to occur.  This can cause the need for insulation to be replaced and can create an environment for attic mold to form.

One of the architectural styles that’s prone to ice dam damage is story and a half homes.  In story and half homes, the upper level has angled ceilings with knee walls.  These features make it difficult to properly ventilate and install insulation because heat loss is common.  To fully correct the situation, it’s best to remove all of the current insulation and add spray foam to the top of the roof deck and install a metal roof.  This approach discourages the risk of  ice dam formation because a thermal break is created, causing snow to exit the roof before it has a chance to melt.  Heat cables should be used on a last resort basis because they are not a permanent ice dam solution.

Watch Spray Foam Insulation Being Installed By The Experts of Lindus Construction:

Air Sealing Is A Core Piece Of Attic Ventilation & Insulation Projects

A critical component of most home ventilation and insulation projects should be attic air sealing.  In this process, spray foam insulation is installed in the attic on the rim, top plate, and perforations.  The attic access is also sealed off to prevent air leakage.  Out of all of the improvements you can make to your home, air sealing an attic offers a great return on investment in terms of energy savings.

Seamless Gutters Help Flow Water Away From Your Home Before It Can Refreeze

For homeowners with a metal roof, it’s important to select a gutter system that is sturdy enough to handle heavy snow and ice falling off the roof.  While gutters aren’t the root cause of ice dams, they help excess water flow (after the snow melts) away from your home. Keep in mind ice dam build up occurs from melted snow that refreezes. Therefore, many homeowners select LeafGuard® Brand Gutters over open style gutters.  LeafGuard® Brand Gutters are one-piece, seamless, and guaranteed never to clog or we’ll offer you a complimentary cleaning.  Not only can open style gutters be ripped off a home from ice and snow, but the soffits can as well.  Even more frustrating is that not all insurance companies will cover this type of damage.

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Twin Cities Home Insulation & Ventilation Reviews:

"Randall Bowman and an attic insulation crew attended to my Somerset, WI condo in Oct. 2023.  They were ahead of schedule, very conscientious about not causing any damage or mess in the house. Very conscientious about not blocking traffic for my condo development neighbors. And, they were very efficient-- finishing earlier than they estimated. I would highly recommend Lindus Construction and the two insulation company they contract with."

Deb M.
Somerset, WI
October 12, 2023

"I thought it went very well!  No issues."

Brian B.
Ramsey, MN
August 24, 2023

"Great job! Kept us informed! Also, was very considerate. Made sure everything was cleaned up at the end of the day and took care to always wear masks around us, since my wife is immune compromised."

Dave G.
Maplewood, MN
June 26, 2023

"Everything went fine.  No problems."

Chip A.
Woodbury, MN
June 20, 2023

"Mitch did an outstanding job at my home today. He made me feel extremely comfortable. He was extremely thorough. And explained everything down to the down to the bottom detail. I couldn't be more happier. And if I know anybody that needs any work done, I am certainly going to recommend Lindus Construction. So thank you very much."

Dawn L.
Solon Springs, WI
May 5, 2023

"My experience was wonderful.  The guys did a walk through before starting and helped remove stubborn ceiling tiles. They shoveled my sidewalk between the hose and garage to minimize tracking any snow in.  Very personable and dealt with some difficult access to several sill areas. I always inform my friends of my projects with Lindus and the quality of the work and the crews."

Michaeleen K.
Minneapolis, MN
March 9, 2023
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