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TMCNet:  Wisconsin's Focus On Energy Offers Residents Tips To Take Action Against Ice Dams

[January 25, 2013]

Wisconsin's Focus On Energy Offers Residents Tips To Take Action Against Ice Dams

Madison, Wisconsin, Jan 25, 2013 ( via COMTEX) -- Take Action Against Ice Dams Focus on Energy urges area homeowners to protect their homes against ice damming.

Wisconsin's winter weather generally supplies the snow and cold. As little as one or two inches of snow accumulation on a roof coupled with sub-freezing and above-freezing temperatures, is all that's needed to allow ice dams to form. Ice damming, ridges of ice that prevent melting snow and water from draining off a roof, can saddle homeowners with thousands of dollars of damage if left untreated. Carter Dedolph, Senior Program Manager for Focus on Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) program states, "Usually, the heat to melt the snow comes from warm air inside the house leaking into the attic and warming the roof. The melting snow runs down the roof until it reaches the cold roof edge where it refreezes." Ice builds up along the eaves, forming a dam that can force water back up under the shingles and even into the ceiling or wall inside the house. The freeze-thaw cycle will cause ice dams to intensify. "The results of these costly ice dams include water-stained ceilings and walls, peeling paint and damaged plaster, damaged shingles, and sagging gutters. Messy and expensive water losses from ice dams continues to top the types of claims insurance companies receive during the winter months." Most homeowners are not aware of the types of improvements they can make to their home and the financial rewards available to them to prevent ice dams from forming. Inadequate or incomplete insulation is an obvious reason why an attic may not be cold. However, even if the attic is adequately insulated, warm air leaking through hidden pathways can cut the effectiveness of the insulation by 30 to 70 percent. Warm air finds many pathways leading from the heated space into the attic. These pathways are called attic bypasses. Fiberglass or cellulose insulation slows air movement, but they won't stop it.

There's a myth that replacing your roof or shingles will stop the problem. The fact is replacing your roof or shingles only temporarily solves the problem. The most effective and cost efficient way of preventing ice dams is to stop them from forming in the first place. Finding and sealing the air leaks that cause ice dams is the permanent answer. "These home improvements can be done by a Trade Ally partnering with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R), says Dedolph. "These companies are experts in diagnosing and solving difficult and challenging home moisture problems, like ice dams." Since 2001, Focus on Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) program has helped thousands of Wisconsin homeowners save up to 30% on their utility bills, made their homes more comfortable, durable and energy efficient and provided financial rewards for making improvements and participating in the program.

The first step is to schedule a "whole-house" energy assessment with a Trade Ally. The energy assessment includes a customer interview, visual inspection of your living space, attic, basement or crawl space to find areas of energy loss, technology-based tests, including a blower-door test to measure air leaks, a detailed report outlining recommendations and return on investment scenarios, and no hassle reimbursements for customer rewards and saving bonuses. The 2-4 hour energy assessment also includes free energy-saving products and installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), high efficiency showerheads and water-saving kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators. A free energy assessment and additional improvement rewards are available for income-eligible homeowners. For example a family of four making less than $62,262 per year would qualify for the program.

Visit or call toll-free 1.800.762.7707 to learn more about the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program or to find a Trade Ally in your area.

About Focus on Energy Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state's investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities.For more information call 800.762.7077 or visit

### MEDIA CONTACT: Donna Bambrough, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) Program, Marketing Manager, 608.729.9102, donna(dot)bambrough(at)csgrp(dot)com Read the full story at

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