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If your home is starting to resemble an ice castle, then you probably have ice dams (!!). But don’t fret. This common condition is preventable, and can be cured in three easy steps.

After several days of snow and cold temperatures, it can happen to anyone. It starts with just a few small icicles. While they are pretty at first, it may mean an ice dam is forming. Ice dams can damage your roof, gutters, and cause water to leak into your attic and home. They are caused by warm air leaking out of your home, melting the snow on your roof or other ledges. Normally, melting snow would run off your roof into your gutters and away from your home. However, with freezing temperatures outside, this water refreezes, creating ice dams that block the flow of water, which can then back up into your home.

Here are three simple steps you can take to stop ice dams from happening to you (and to prevent your home from looking like an inviting habitat for the Boston Yeti).

1. Get rid of it

First things first–remove the dam and the source of water (hint: its all that snow on your roof!). We recommend you seek the help of a professional to remove the dam so you don’t damage your home. Raking the snow off your roof is a temporary quick fix for preventing ice dams from returning.

2. Seal it up tight

Once you’ve stopped the source of the leak and addressed any water damage you may have ensued, find any air leaks that caused the issue to begin with. By sealing cracks with caulk or foam, you’ll save money on your energy bill, prevent ice dams, and make your home more comfortable. This is a low-cost, DIY project that can have huge benefits.

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Great information on common places to find air leaks from Energy Star.

3. Insulation – like a sweater for your home

Eliminate further heat loss from your home by getting it properly insulated. Get your no-cost home energy assessment through Renew Boston. Sign up online or call 617-635-SAVE. This assessment will get you some great freebies so you can start saving right away, and the auditor will let you know what other incentives you may be eligible for, like 75% off home weatherization (up to $2,000).


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