What Are Ice Dams and Why Are They Formed?

The attic is a part of the house that is typically underappreciated and is often just an awkward space for storing junk. Surprisingly for most homeowners, the attic plays a big role in controlling the entire house temperature, acting as a ventilation system where the excess heat within the house rises into the attic. An insulated attic is the beginning step to decrease heat and energy loss. Having an uninsulated attic can lead to several problems, including the formation of an ice dam.


Ice Dam Buildup

An ice dam is a buildup of ice at the base of the roof along the gutter, caused by melted snow that refreezes. A pool of water from melted snow develops and the longer this pool of water sits, the more time the water can find cracks in your roof. The major reason behind the ice dam occurring is a combination of poor attic ventilation and the snow acting as an insulator.


Attic & Snow Duo

Uninsulated attics in the winter can be problematic, especially during heavy snowstorms. After a heavy snowstorm, the bottom layer of snow begins to melt due to the roof’s heat. When the underside of the roof in the attic is higher than 32 degrees, the snow melts, running down the roof. If your gutters are not given proper care, the water then builds up, causing water to sit and eventually form to ice. After another big snowstorm, the process repeats itself, leaving more water to sit behind the ice build up. When there is little time between snowstorms, the snow becomes a powerful insulator, making the outside of the roof’s surface warmer and melting the snow faster.



Ice Dam-age

Ice Dams can be extremely problematic for homeowners, and the damage is not always noticed right away. The sitting water on the roof seeps into the cracks of the roof, getting into your attic and walls. The most common ice dam effects are ceiling cavities and peeling or blistered wall paint. There is also the chance of mold and mildew formation. The attic insulation can be affected as well, which creates recurring problems for the interior and exterior of the house.

Ice Dam Prevention

Ideally, you want to avoid ice dams from ever forming in the first place. To do this, you will need to tackle the problem at its source – your attic and your roof.

You want to create a situation where the roof always remains close to the outside temperature, requiring removing heat sources within the attic and creating sufficient ventilation through the attic and roof.

Insulation- Ventilation – Air Leakage


Keeping Your Gutters, Clean Helps Stop Ice Damming

Keeping gutters clean is something that every homeowner needs to stay on top of. Although cleaning out the gutters can be unpleasant, especially if many leaves have been allowed to accumulate and rot, cleaning is still necessary to prevent roof problems.

Ice dams will have a harder time forming if the water is allowed to flow off of the house and down the gutter as intended. Cleaning out the gutters has the added benefit of preventing damaged gutters when a freeze comes, as accumulated debris that is wet will freeze. The debris can become thick enough to rip off the gutters.

If you are selling a home in the winter, it becomes even more paramount to keep up with your gutters’ maintenance. Ice dams can be a serious problem, so make sure you are prepared for the winter season with an insulated attic.

Give us a call at Lion Home Service and we are happy to do a Free Roof & Gutter Assessment , show you Leaf Relief options, or do a roof/gutter repair for you, we can also help with blown insulation! . We work with all insurance companies on your behalf and also offer $0 Down – 0% Financing. We serve Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor, Wellington and the surrounding areas. Contact us today 970-399-9940 to schedule an appointment with the best roofing company in Northern Colorado!



The Benefits of Blown Attic Insulation

Blown attic insulation comes in cellulose or fiberglass. Both materials have comparable R-values. The blown material provides a protective thermal blanket for your Northern Colorado home. Here are some of the benefits of blown attic insulation:

Saves Energy

The blown-in material locks in cooler indoor attic temperatures in summer and prevents heated and cooled air from leaking out. By effectively sealing even tiny cracks and crevices, the material enhances HVAC performance, increases indoor comfort and saves energy. Some homeowners report saving up to 50 percent on energy costs, and the installation usually pays for itself in two to four years.

Fire Protection

Cellulose and fiberglass reduce the risk of fire by creating an airtight seal. That seal keeps air from flowing through small spaces into a fire and stoking the flames.

Easy Installation

Two professionals can complete an installation within a few hours. The material is delivered through a hose directly into the spaces to be covered. When installed by qualified professionals, the material seals wooden crossbeams, electrical wiring, and plumbing pipes to create a seamless protective covering.


The blown material creates a tight seal in your attic that mutes indoor noise from one room to another. The sound buffer also reduces outdoor noise. The overall noise reduction can make your home feel more peaceful, comforting and safe.

Reduced Condensation

An airtight seal of blown material can keep condensation and moisture out of your attic. That makes it more difficult for mold, mildew and bacteria to grow. It can prevent rot and odors and keep condensation and moisture from damaging your roof.

More Efficient then Fiberglass batting

Studies show that blown loose fill materials are up to 22 percent more efficient than fiberglass batting with the same R-value. The blown material is flexible, so it can seal all those hard-to-reach places and tight crevices that batting cannot.

Good Investment

Adding loose-fill insulation to your attic is one of the fastest paybacks of any home improvement project. The amount of money you save on energy costs will add up quickly over the next couple of years, more than paying for itself, and even bringing a return on your investment.


How Does Insulation Affect a Home’s Energy Cost?

Are your home’s energy costs out of control? Your attic’s insulation might have something to do with that. If your home is not properly insulated, you could literally have money disappearing into mid-air. Why? Because insulation helps keep your conditioned air where it is supposed to be, in your home! Here’s why insulation, or lack thereof, has a direct impact on your home’s energy costs.

Cold Air Seeks out Warm Air and Vice-Versa

Attic insulation plays an important part in keeping your home comfortable. But it also is important to help you keep your home’s energy costs under control. During the winter, when the weather is cold, your attic should be, too. However, if your attic is not properly sealed and insulated, which is the case with many older homes, the heated air from your living space will seep into it. The opposite occurs during the summer when the air in your attic becomes very hot. The heat from your attic can radiate down into your cooled living space.

The result is that your air conditioner and heater need to work harder to keep your home comfortable. And this means they are using more energy in the process. But it is not just the added energy costs you need to worry about. You also need to be concerned about the added wear and tear on your system that will shorten its lifespan and increase the likelihood of a breakdown. Another concern is damage to your roof and the shortening of its lifespan from heat buildup and ice dams.

Out With the Old, in With the New

Today, upgrading the insulation in your attic is more cost-effective in the long run than paying expensive energy bills and repairing or replacing your HVAC system or roof. If your energy costs are skyrocketing, our blown insulation services can be the answer to your problem.

At Lion Home Service, our experts are ready to help make your home more energy efficient with services like heating and cooling repair, maintenance, and upgrades. Take the first step to saving money on your home’s energy costs by contacting Lion Home Service in Fort Collins to schedule your attic assessment today. We offer heating, cooling, electrical, septic sewer, and roofing services.


3 Real Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

Many people tend to neglect all the many ways they are losing money on utility bills. While there are lots of tricks to improve your energy efficiency, some methods are only minimally effective. Here are the three top ways you can begin to really improve the energy efficiency of your home.

1. Reduce Your Water Heater Temperature

Many people have their water heater set far hotter than it needs to be. Reducing the temperature by a few degrees will save you a great deal of money throughout the year and result in lower energy usage overall. All it takes is a simple adjustment of the heater settings.

2. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats can save you a lot of money. If you don’t pay attention to your system, you can end up having your heater or AC working a lot harder much more often than necessary.

You also have to ask yourself, what is a comfortable level? Can you stretch a few degrees lower in winter and use an extra blanket? Can you stretch a little higher in summer and use fans instead? Can you use that programmable thermostat to set a more conservative temperature during off-peak hours? All of these will help you save money and raise your energy efficiency. Even a difference of just a few degrees can noticeably lower your monthly utility bill.

3. Insulate Your Home

Better insulation in your attic, for example, makes it harder for perfectly conditioned air to escape your house. Seal up cracks and add insulation where possible so that it will keep out the cold or hot weather. This will make things much easier on your HVAC unit.

All of these tips require a good HVAC unit that is properly maintained. This is where Lion Home Service can help. We operate throughout Fort Collins and the surrounding areas with a full range of services that cover heating, cooling, electrical, radon testing, and more. Call our office today for detailed information.