Firsts: Things the new house has taught us

Courtesy of the University of Minnesota extension service, here is a diagram of an ice dam. This is what happens when you mix up the lethal cocktail of lots of snow on your house, extended periods of below freezing temperatures, and uneven heat loss through your (in our case uninsulated) roof.

Water started running down the inside of the picture window in the living room tonight. It's stopped for the moment as I'm sure everything has frozen up for the night. Now we know what the big discolored area on the floor under that window is. I'm sure it's been doing it for years. Arrgh.

The forecast tomorrow is in the 40s, which I don't think is going to be warm enough to melt the dam (but will certainly melt all the snow above it), but what do I know. It's the biggest piece of ice I've ever seen, cross your fingers.

9 comments:

Raina Cox said...

OH. MY. GOD.

I need to see if Hallmark has a card for this.

You poor thing, my fellow-new-homeowner heart goes out to you.

David said...

And then they talked about them on the news at 10. We never have winter like we have so far, so I guess they're occurring all over. I had a scotch, I'm better now.

Karena said...

I am having a glass of Pinot Noir. I know it is winter in Kansas City, but Pleeease!

Kathleen said...

That's horrible. What's the immediate fix?

hello gorgeous said...

Oh, crap. That happened at our last house. We had just replaced the roof and, boy, did the roofer get an earful until I realized it wasn't even his fault.

David said...

Kathleen, I'm trying to figure that out as well. Ice melt that won't hurt the roof and gutters is all I can think of for now.

Our Christmas gift cards from Lowe's were going to go towards something fun, but we've talked and insulating the attic has been moved way up on the list.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Surely this is bound to happen at my house any day. More than 40s we need a good long run of 50s. I had to push a guy out of a snow bank on 67th & State Line today. German engineering is not all it's cracked up to be.

Decorina said...

Oh David...I feel for you. I have a bedroom where that happens every storm.

I suggest you move the insulation to the top - above a new roof. It is the lack of insulation that makes it happen. Also - check the slope on your gutters. Ours were completely out of whack and since they were replaced we haven't had the ice dams.

Toad said...

Yikes.

I hope you come across a quick fix. This one won't be easy.