Ice dams could threaten homes, rebates available

If your home has bigger-than-normal icicles, it could mean trouble.
January 8, 2014 3:36:30 PM PST
If your home has bigger-than-normal icicles, it could mean trouble.

Contractors and energy companies are warning now about ice formations on rooftops that lead to those large and perilously positioned ice dams that can create serious problems for your home.

Green Energy Improvement
Insulation and Air Sealing Experts
2545 W Diversey Ave, #222
Chicago, IL 60647
800-909-0730
www.greenenergyimprovement.com
ask@greenenergyimprovement.com

Especially on a sunny day they can be pretty. But outsized winter wonders typically indicate the formation of an ice dam.

"When you have that ice sitting there, it starts to get under the gutter where all the connections are," said Kenneth Marx, Green Energy Improvement. "The hot air is hitting the cold deck, and that creates moisture."

Marx is turning a century-old home into a model of energy efficiency. Critical to that is ensuring attics and spaces around roofs -- or channels that pipe hot air up in a house -- as seen through a heat scanner where dark areas represent cold air are filled with insulation. That keeps warmth inside and away from the roofline where it melts snow, which can back up under shingles and eventually work its way inside.

Basements are connected to the attic behind these walls, so when we can air-seal in the basement... it chokes off that air flow and there's improvement everywhere," Marx said. "When you have openings like this, the heat is sneaking up there and also affecting the roof."

Preventing ice dams -- and the need to get on a roof and knock off built up ice, an age-old but dangerous activity -- can be done relatively simply. It's advisable to get an energy audit from a reputable firm. Utilities even offer help in getting the initial work done.

"We've done jobs as low as $,1000... We have had jobs go to $8,000," Marx said. "With an evaluation, we can figure out the problem... This is an indication that there's massive heat loss."

Nicor and ComEd have home energy savings programs. They'll pay up to $1,200 for air sealing and attic insulation and offer on-bill financing. Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas will kick back 75 cents per square foot on insulation and $500 on duct sealing.

REBATES:

REBATE PROGRAMS FOR CHICAGO AREA RESIDENTS
Nicor Gas/ComEd Home Energy Savings Program
Air Sealing and Attic Insulation Rebate
(up to $1200)
877.821.9988
http://nicorgasrebates.com/images/hes/HESRebateProgramFlyer_FINAL.pdf
ON-BILL FINANCING also available to qualified customers
http://nicorgasrebates.com/loans

Peoples Gas Home Energy Savings Program
(up to $.75/square foot on insulation and $500 on duct sealing)
855-849-8928
www.peoplesgasdelivery.com/home/rebates_residential.aspx?s_ecid=VAN_WEB_ResidentialRebates

North Shore Gas Home Energy Savings Program
(up to $.75/square foot on insulation and $500 on duct sealing)
855-849-8928
www.northshoregasdelivery.com/home/rebates_residential.aspx


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