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Home Blog General Dammed If You Do; Damned If You Don't

Dammed If You Do; Damned If You Don't

Why did so many of us experience Ice Dams this past winter? Didn't we tend to this since we first learned about these issues back in the Nineties? Is there no solution?

There are literally dozens of ways for the warm air from the living spaces of your home to sneak into the attic and thereby warm the underside of your roof. It is this heat transfer that melts the blanket of snow from beneath and sends the runoff rolling down your roof surface till it encounters air cold enough to refreeze it along your eaves. Charming icicles are a lovely New England sight ... until they loom large enough to cause some other damage. Icicles with sufficient mass to do harm when they fall are an obvious threat, but there may be less obvious damage done if we follow the dammed water back into your home. This year's insurance claims have been significant. Depending on the measures taken to remedy the situation, interior damage may be more extensive and costly than the effects on the exterior.

Any home, no matter how recently occupied, may benefit from a rigorous home inspection and energy audit. Immediate savings may be realized from reduced heat loss. Even more unwanted expense might be relieved before it takes its toll if steps taken today keep water outside the envelope of your home. Claims adjusters for the home insurance companies are discovering interior damage to ceilings, walls, floors and finishes of more far-reaching replacement costs than the repair to the exterior shell. The last thing any of us wants to hear is that there is hidden damage and mold that grows when moisture accumulates in the cavities in our building frames. If this were not bad enough yet, ants and termites generally follow this moisture trail.

An educated inspection can reveal areas we can address and mitigate while the weather is pleasant, to shield you from harm and hazard when the weather turns unpleasant once more. A top-to-bottom addressing of concerns will ensure that your home can maintain a weather-tight shell against our climate's many fluctuations. While it may be counter-intuitive to perform your winter work now, you may be happier than ever when the heating season hits again.

Basnett Design-Build-Remodel takes pride in remaining abreast of the best and brightest educators in the building sciences. Together, we share what we learn, and we bring this collective experience to the job-site each day. When working on your home, all of the best practices we have learned are incorporated into everything we do. When we honestly engage the challenges your home will face, we can save you from exposure to the vulnerabilities that mere code-compliance may fall short of addressing. Where warranted, we will also guide you to hire the subject matter specialists that have the training and the tools to deal with specific areas of concern, which demand their mastery. Enlightened design and construction upholds the adage, "Know what you know; know what you don't; know the difference; and know when to ask for help."

For further reading, both anecdotal and remedial, we recommend these articles:


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14 Gilson Rd.
Littleton, MA 01460

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J.F. Basnett Company, Inc. is doing business as Basnett Design - Build - Remodel.  Proudly serving the following MA communities: Acton, Ayer, Bedford, Berlin, Bolton, Boxborough, Chelmsford, Concord, Dunstable, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Marlborough, Maynard, Pepperell, Shirley, Sterling, Stow, Sudbury, Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wayland, Westford, and Westminster.