Ice Daming in the Long Island Area

Summer has come and gone, the holidays have passed, and now we must brace ourselves for what winter might have in store for us this year.  The last few winters have hit Long Island stronger than ever and many property owners were not entirely prepared.  Shovels and Snowblowers were flying off the shelves at the stores; you couldn’t find ice melt almost anywhere!
Society today has become very “reactive” rather than remaining proactive when it comes to taking preventative measures to protect their homes.  Here are a few helpful ways to be proactive and avoid the risk of what a cold and snowy winter may bring to Long Island.
Ice Damming: Ice dam has become a recognized term over these last few years to Long Island homeowners, damaging homes both inside and outside.  Ice Damming is a common winter roofing problem caused by poor roof ventilation and warm attic space. Left untreated, ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, drywall, structure and even contribute to mold. 
Ice dams form when melting snow on a roof runs off and refreezes at the edge of a roof. This condition occurs when the snow is melted by a warm roof, creating water running between the snow and the warm roof surface, then freezing and turning to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter.
Ice damming can be avoided or prevented by increasing the amount of insulation you have in your attic so that the heat you are using to heat your home does not escape through inadequate insulation.  A combination of ice and water shield and drip edge, in conjunction with a proper roof installation, will aid in the prevention of ice dams as well.
Pipe Breaks: Pipe breaks are another common occurrence when temperatures plummet.  The water freezes in the pipe, commonly on an outside wall, and when it freezes, expands and eventually breaks the pipe.  This can potentially cause a massive amount of water damage in many cases. Although this is typically a covered loss through your homeowner’s insurance, it is a headache to deal with and can cause a lot of damage to your property and belongings.  Pipe breaks can be avoided by maintaining the heat in your dwelling, usually around 68 degrees, especially when you are going out of town.  Always make sure you have enough oil to heat your home.  Insulate outside walls, keep windows closed on the outside walls of your home, and be sure to disconnect gardening hoses and flush out your sprinklers if necessary.
Many of the headaches we face as homeowners can be avoided with proper prevention strategies and planning ahead.  On Long Island, we are going to always face drastic weather changes; therefore taking some of these ideas into consideration could carry you a long way.  If you take preventative measures, when the next snowstorm finds its way into your neighborhood, you could kick your feet up by the fireplace with some hot cocoa rather than worrying about keeping the storm out of your house!