Ice Dam Solutions Promoted by Commerce Department at State Fair

For the first time, the Minnesota Department of Commerce created a very unique energy efficiency exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair. This exhibit was the size of your average home and gave fairgoers the opportunity to take a look at what energy efficiency is like. Also emphasized within the exhibit were solutions to the nagging issue of ice dams that form on the roofs of homes and businesses during the winter.

Winter will be here before we know it and that means homes need to be winterized. Roofs need inspected, windows need replaced if they are too drafty, gutters need to be cleaned and broken systems replaced, and much more.

Ice dam prevention becomes a priority for many homeowners because of the damage an ice dam can do.

If melting snow runs to the edge of the roof and then freezes before it is able to run off, a dam forms. This melting and refreezing process occurs again and again until there is a major problem. Snow and ice cannot leave the roof. Water can become trapped behind this dam and it’s going to leave the first way it can find, which may be a crack in the roof. This can cause leakage into the walls of the home and a variety of other issues.

Some of the solutions highlighted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, outside of removing snow from a roof, included ensuring the home’s ceiling is sealed completely. This means making sure no warm air is making its way to the roof to cause premature snow melt. Even a simple increase in roof insulation can also keep heat in, which reduces energy costs.

If a dam forms, a channel can be created for water to drain until the ice dam can be removed. This prevents the roof from having to bear more weight than what it should and reduces the changes of a leak.

Also present at the fair was the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Eco Experience. While there was a focus on doing small tasks to improve the environment, such as riding a bicycle and utilizing farmers markets throughout the state, energy solutions were presented. Fairgoers learned about ways they can improve the performance of their homes, such as replacing drafty windows and making use of what is already available, as well as integrating something new.

Fairgoers walked away from the 2012 Minnesota State Fair knowing much more about how to save money and the environment through these two very informative exhibits.


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