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Hw Homeroom: De-Icing 101

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

When you own a home, water is a constant negotiation. Whether it’s ensuring that the earth slopes away from the property or handling gutters and downspouts, much of your maintenance as an owner has some relation to managing water in its many forms.

For today’s Homeroom, however, we’ll keep our focus on the solid form of this often stress-inducing element: ah, the joy of dealing with ice. As evidenced by the very winter we’re having now, Utah homeowners will (like it or not) have their fair share of run-ins with it, and we want to help however we can.

In cold months like these, ice is likely to show up and stick around. But the problem arrives when it begins to melt…and then refreezes. This leads, inevitably, to expansion, and it can cause some pretty real damage to the structure of your property. Ice can make its way into cracks in the foundation and spaces between roof shingles or flashing around chimneys and gutters.

In the simplest terms? Direct it properly. Dry it up.

Push it away. Keep things toasty.

Keep in mind that the northern portion of your home is most at risk here, but there are many factors that can contribute to ice dams—keeping your home warm facilitates the necessary melting of snow and ice on your roof, but bottlenecks can create opportunities to refreeze. You’ll want to keep your eye on this, and mitigate whenever possible…and heat tape can be a helpful resource. Essentially a protected cable that you can attach to pipes, rain gutters, or your roof, heat tape is a self-regulating extension cord designed to produce heat. 

This year’s ice may be here for a while, and it’s best to create a healthy relationship here: stay close and create some clear boundaries. Which is to say, watch it intently and move it away from the home as efficiently as possible. More questions? Feel free to reach out! We’re happy to chat through helpful recommendations for maintenance or professional assistance!


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