Ice damming, Part 1: In­su­la­tion and ven­ti­la­tion

The Oklahoman - - REAL ESTATE - Paul Bianchina im­prov­ingy­our [email protected]

Win­ter’s on its way again, and along with that comes the prob­lem of ice buildup on the roof.

That ac­cu­mu­la­tion of ice can lead to ice damming, which in turn gives way to shin­gle dam­age, wet in­su­la­tion, in­te­rior dam­age and a whole host of other prob­lems that you cer­tainly don’t want to deal with.

Roof ic­ing and ice damming are both sim­ple and com­pli­cated to un­der­stand and to deal with, so I’m go­ing to ap­proach it in two parts:

Part 1, where we’ll look at what causes ice damming and why in­su­la­tion and ven­ti­la­tion are the only two real so­lu­tions to the prob­lem; and Part 2, the pros and cons of snow re­moval, heat tape and other mea­sures.

How ice dams oc­cur

An ice dam be­gins with snow fall­ing and build­ing up on the roof. If the tem­per­a­tures re­main rel­a­tively low, the snow layer won’t melt. As more snow falls, ad­di­tional lay­ers build up. The new lay­ers of snow in­su­late and pro­tect the pre­vi­ous lay­ers.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, you have the heat on in­side your home. Some of that heated air gets lost up into the at­tic. Once it gets up there, it comes into con­tact with the un­der­side of the roof.

So now two things are go­ing on with your roof. It has an in­su­lat­ing layer of snow above it, and heat be­low it. That cre­ates per­fect con­di­tions for the snow to be­gin melt­ing from be­low. That al­lows a thin film of wa­ter to form be­low the snow layer, where it then runs down the roof un­til it reaches the eaves.

Once that wa­ter reaches the eaves, it’s past the part of the at­tic where the heat loss from the house is oc­cur­ring, so now it be­gins to freeze. A solid dam of ice forms, right above the line of your ex­te­rior walls.

Now the real prob­lems start. As wa­ter com­ing down the roof be­low the snow layer hits the ice dam, it has no where to go, so it be­gins to back up the roof. Since shin­gles are over­lapped from top to bot­tom, there’s no pro­tec­tion against wa­ter com­ing in from be­low. The wa­ter be­gins to work its way un­der the shin­gles, and then into the house.

on the day of the tour to pick up their guide­books.

Weather ad­vi­sory

Or­ga­niz­ers posted the fol­low­ing on­line at mid­week:

You have prob­a­bly seen the 90 per­cent chance of snow fore­cast for Satur­day. The Christ­mas Foun­da­tion has spo­ken to each other, as well as with some of the home­own­ers, and we are go­ing to push through with the Homes Tour on the 8th!

The Tour will not be resched­uled or can­celled due to snow, as there is sim­ply no way to guar­an­tee that the 15th will be bet­ter weather or no­tify ev­ery­one who has seen the 8th on our print ads, rack cards, posters, etc.

It is a risk we take in plan­ning th­ese events a year out, in­volv­ing so many peo­ple’s sched­ules and Ok­la­homa’s un­pre­dictable weather!

Some own­ers may choose to re­move their home from the Tour in the case of ex­treme in­clement weather. We will do our best to pro­vide those de­tails as we re­ceive them.

PLEASE CHECK SO­CIAL ME­DIA OF­TEN FOR UP­DATES AND SHARE THE POSTS! We ap­pre­ci­ate the help, and do not have the man­power/time to re­spond to 3,000 pri­vate mes­sages ask­ing the same ques­tions.

As our web­site states, all Homes Tour ticket pur­chases are fi­nal and will not be re­funded due to weather. Please only pur­chase tick­ets in ad­vance if you agree with this pol­icy. Thank you!

Hol­i­day his­tory

The tour is part of Guthrie’s 23rd an­nual Ter­ri­to­rial Christ­mas Cel­e­bra­tion, which runs with var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties through Dec. 23. Guthrie res­i­dents launched the event in 1995 with the idea of cel­e­brat­ing the hol­i­days as it had been cel­e­brated in Ok­la­homa Ter­ri­tory’s early days af­ter the Land Run of 1889 brought in thou­sands of set­tlers. Or­ga­niz­ers formed the non­profit Guthrie Ter­ri­to­rial Christ­mas Foun­da­tion in 2013 to help pro­mote the cel­e­bra­tion.

Guthrie pros­pered in the years af­ter the Land Run, build­ing up as a mod­ern brick-and­stone city with all the mod­ern con­ve­niences, in­clud­ing a mass tran­sit sys­tem. It briefly served as Ok­la­homa’s cap­i­tal af­ter state­hood in 1907, but lost out to Ok­la­homa City in a 1910 spe­cial elec­tion.

It also was spared the per­ils of rapid growth and mis­guided ur­ban plan­ning. So it re­mains a well-pre­served en­clave of Vic­to­rian ar­chi­tec­ture, and its cen­tral dis­trict is a Na­tional His­toric Land­mark.

But the clock didn’t stop in 1907, and this year’s tour will re­flect that.

“We’ll have a nice mix of older and newer places,” Plagg said.


The Guthrie His­toric Homes Tour will in­clude the re­stored train de­pot at 403 W Ok­la­homa Ave.

The Guthrie His­toric Homes Tour will in­clude this home at 320 N First St.

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