Recent snowstorms in our region are pretty, sure, but when all this snow accumulates on your roof, you or your neighbor could be left with massive icicles or ice dams, like this one on the left. The cause is simple: poorly installed or lack of insulation under your roof. When there are gaps or poorly installed insulation under a roof, heat escapes in these particular areas. This causes any snow above the un-insulated patch to melt, drip, and form the recognizable icicles which dangle precariously from homes and buildings. Ice dams can also produce leaks, which may damage your roof sheathing, ceiling, and walls.
The presence of an ice dam also means you are paying to heat your roof and melt the snow instead of heating your home. The good (and logical) news is that basic energy efficiency improvements to your building can alleviate this problem and save you money.
While we do not recommend you climb on your roof to knock the icicles down, we do suggest you apply for an energy assessment of your home or building and have a professional find and solve the problem. For single family homeowners, Energy Impact Illinois is a great first step. Visit the site or call 1-855-9-IMPACT. For multifamily building owners or nonprofits and houses of worship, check with our Energy Savers program or call (855) 372-8377.
When you sign up for an energy audit, a team of energy analysts will arrange an in-person audit to help you identify the most cost-effective investments for your building — such as air sealing and insulation — to help you save energy and money.
Image from Flickr user State Farm.