Preventing and limiting the damage from ice dams
Sure, the icicles hanging on the eaves of your house make for a picturesque, Instagram-worthy scene, but did you know they can spell big problems for your home? With the significant amount of snow many states received this winter, the same conditions that cause those pretty icicles to form can also lead to ice dams.
Ice on the roof? It could be an ice dam.
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a blockage formed from melting snow that freezes along the roof edges and gutters. As ice builds, it can trap water that eventually will seep through the seams of your roof shingles. This can cause significant damage to your walls, insulation, ceiling, and other areas.
What can I do to prevent and limit the damage from ice dams?
In these remaining few weeks of winter, it's all about damage control. If you see ice dams forming on your property, here is what you can do to minimize the potential damage:
Remove excess snow
If more than a foot of snow falls, remove it by using a roof rake or push broom. Carefully, and very lightly, sweep the rake or broom down the slope of the roof line. Never pull snow sideways across the roof or it may break off the shingles. It's not necessary to remove all of the ice in the gutters or the ice dam itself, as long as you have removed the snow from the roof.
Bring the heat
Sprinkle the ice buildup with lawn fertilizer that contains urea particles (found at most hardware or home and garden stores). The higher the nitrogen content in the fertilizer, the faster the ice will melt. Don't use driveway salt, which can kill your plants and grass.
Break the ice
Don't allow icicles to hang from the roofline or gutters. Carefully break them off and keep the icicles away from the foundation of your home.
Don't risk your life
Most importantly, be safe! Unless you've been properly trained, removing an ice dam can be quite dangerous. When removing ice dams, you not only risk damage to your roof, but also severe personal injury to yourself if you are not careful. We strongly recommend contacting professionals with the proper equipment and roofing experience to carry out this job.
To learn more on how to prevent, spot, and remove ice dams, click here.
Delayed flights and lost luggage often headline the list of concerns for travelers, but they are minor inconveniences compared to severe illness, missing prescriptions, or serious injury away from home.
The time to prepare for sickness is before germs hit your team. Illnesses can happen anytime, but flu season generally peaks between December and February, although it can stretch from October through May. Consider how you canprevent an outbreak and how you can respond quickly to limit the impact and costs to your business.
When Jenny VanDeHei left for college to study business, she thought she had picked her last stone and fed her last calf. She loved the family farm she grew up on, but she saw her future as an accountant, in an office building in the city, far from the country fresh smell of cow manure.
When you’re born into a farm family, on the job training begins the moment you can walk. You learn quickly where it’s safe to play, not to startle the animals, and that there’s always a way you can help – no matter your age. Curt Weis, Manager – Farm and Agribusiness Training, can attest to this because he earned his keep by working on his family’s farm right up until he left for college.
Patti Lemke, Sr. Agribusiness Underwriter, spent her entire young life living and working on a farm. Her parents owned and operated a small farm in Eden, Wis. that milked 65 cows in a stanchion barn, and she worked on a large dairy farm that milked 700 head from the time she was 14 until she left for college.