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Map of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with Municipal Labels showing
Boroughs (red), Townships (white), and Census-designated places (blue).
Under Pennsylvania law, there are five types of incorporated
municipalities: cities, boroughs, townships, Home Rule Municipalities
(which can include communities that bear the name “Borough” or “Township”)
and, in at most two cases, towns. The following boroughs, townships, and
Home Rule Municipalities are located in Montgomery County:
Home rule municipalities
Bryn Athyn (official name remains “Borough of Bryn Athyn”)
Telford (lies partly in Bucks County)
Philadelphia PA Collegeville PA ,Exton PA , Conshohocken PA
ICE DAMS: Several quick fixes but only one cure.
An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain
wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside
of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too.
Ice Dams are a common sight in Northern New England winters, and Home
Partners has dealt with quite a few. There are several things you can do to
avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has
formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing,
insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.
HOW DO ICE DAMS FORM?
An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the
underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between
the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof,
which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There,
the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.
The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a
grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice
build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice
WHAT DAMAGE DO ICE DAMS CAUSE?
When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps
underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and
down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining
sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and
gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs,
windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it
can form mildew and start to rot.
HOW CAN YOU DEAL WITH AN ICE DAM?
There are two avenues of attack: dealing with an existing ice dam and
preventing one in the first place.
DEALING WITH EXISTING ICE DAMS
1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax
or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly
with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone
experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can
take pieces of shingle with them.
2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy
way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.
3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do
NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the
eave and wherever the salty water drains.
A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty
hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay
it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through
the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.
PREVENTING ICE DAMS
You can scrape snow from the roof whenever it falls, using a snow rake from
below or a broom or plastic shovel from above. BE CAREFUL: The first method
can bury you in snow, while the second can send you slipping off the roof.
Hire someone who knows how to use a safety line.
You can replace your shingle roof with standing seam or other metal roof.
Or you can replace the bottom three feet or so of your shingle roof with a
wide metal drip edge. Whatever you do, install a water-repellant membrane
under any new roofing.
NOTE: If your roof is not very steep, an ice dam can still form on metal
roofing and drip edges.
All of these methods treat the symptoms, not the underlying problem, which
is the warm roof, caused by poor insulation and venting of the space under
the roof. We have found that the only way to cure an ice dam – and prevent
one in the first place – is to:
1. Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the
spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.
2. Insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and
convection of heat through the ceiling.
3. Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing, so any
heat that does leak through is carried away.
The diagram on this page gives a good idea of what needs to be sealed,
insulated and ventilated:
The ice dam cure will also cure a significant loss of heat from your home.
It’s a win-win situation: The money you save on fuel bills will pay for the
work to protect yourself from ice dams, and your tighter home will feel
more comfortable during these cold New England Winters
– See more at: http://home-partners.com/articles/ice-dams-quick-fixes
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