Andrew Blumenfeld

Jan 182016

There are many factors which lead to water shedding over the tops of gutters.  Volume of rain waters, flow of rain waters, length of rain waters, pitch of roof, length of roof run, valley locations, gutter length & depth, size of discharge, and several more conditions all contribute beyond a “clogged gutter”.   Standard gutter systems will accommodate most rains but no system will keep up with torrential rains as in late.




Jan 182016

Frozen Pipes

As we endure the winter months, many challenges such as frigid temperatures, snow and ice call for special attention.  Here are a few tips to help familiarize yourself and maintain the management of your property to avoid the hassle and frustration of potential damage:

  • Detach all gardening hoses
  • Shut off all water supply to outside faucets
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of your main water shut off valve in the event that you are out of town for an extended period of time. Tag the location of your main water valve and make sure you can easily turn it on and off.  Shut off valves are generally located in one of the following areas of your property:

Laundry Room

Utility Room

Lower Level

Basement (if applicable)

  • Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape
  • Caulk or weather seal windows to cut down on wind drafts

Remember, that a pipe doesn’t necessarily burst the first time it freezes.  Sometimes it takes several freezes and thaws before damage occurs.  However, special care and forethought could help swing the odds in your favor!

For more information, please feel free to call MI Construction & Roofing at 630-241-0001.

Jan 182016

Understanding Ice DamsWhat is an ice dam, and how does it form?

When snow accumulates on a roof, a cycle of melting and refreezing occurs. In a perfect world, the snow would melt off the roof, enter the gutters, and flow harmlessly to the ground. Or the snow would evaporate from the action of the sun, and never really melt off unless the outside temperature rose above the freezing point. However, two key factors interact to cause problems… the outside temperature and the temperature of the inside of your attic.

The warmer your attic is, the more melt off that occurs at the roof surface. This melted snow would normally flow off the edge of the roof. Under certain conditions, though, when air temperature is very low, the water refreezes at the edge of the roof, where the interior roof surface is not being warmed by the attic. This refreezing gradually forms what is fondly known as an “ice dam”, a growing heap of ice that blocks path of the melted snow.

Once this dam forms to a certain height, the melted snow that pools up behind it can suddenly leak back under the roof shingles and into your home! On a roof with a low slope, it only takes a small ice dam to cause water backup and leakage.

Contrary to popular opinion, gutters do not cause ice dams. However, an ice dam can extend into a gutter if weather conditions permit.

How can ice dams be prevented in the first place?  The answer… insulation and ventilation!

Since we have determined the main cause of ice dams to be an overly warm attic, a good start in inoculating your home against ice dams is to reduce the attic temperature by installing additional insulation on the attic floor.  Install weather stripping and/or insulation on attic stairways or hatchways, and on attic floor-mounted louvers for whole house ventilation fans. Be careful if there are any exposed recessed light fixtures or vent fans poking through the attic floor. Some of these are not designed to be covered with insulation.

For more information, please feel free to call MI Construction & Roofing at 630-241-0001.

Jack L. Mancione, CEO