Spring reminders from the Granby Building Department
By William Volovski,
Granby Building Official
It seemed like this winter would never end, but now that the temperatures are rising many homeowners are still dealing with ice damming problems that arose during the winter. The Building Department receives quite a few calls regarding this and other roof problems. Unfortunately the combination of weather events and temperatures provided the perfect opportunity for ice dams. Ice dams are usually caused by a combination of inadequate or missing insulation in attic areas, as well as improper ventilation of attic and roof spaces. Many homes do not have enough ventilation or may have blocked vents. When the attic or roof space cannot breathe properly this creates conditions that become ideal for ice dams. Warm attics contribute to the heating/cooling cycle that creates ice dams. Attic spaces and the underside of the roof shouldn’t be much warmer than the exterior temperature. Heat can also escape into the attic from bathroom fans, recessed light fixtures, uninsulated attic hatches and similar holes. Many older homes have the combination of too little ventilation as well as not enough insulation and many homes have significant gaps in the attic or roof insulation.
When speaking to contractors about ice dam damage, make sure they address the underlying causes and not just the visible damage the ice dams may have caused.
As a rule—whenever you plan to hire a contractor remember to verify that they are properly registered/licensed with Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Verify any license by using the Consumer Protection website: www.elicense.ct.gov. In addition, check that a contractor with employees has evidence of worker’s compensation insurance. This is different than liability insurance and protects you in the event that employees are injured on your property.
As you perform spring cleanups, please make sure that your house number is clearly visible on your mailbox. In some cases where people have replaced damaged mailboxes or posts they do not replace house numbers. Remember that emergency responders may approach your house from more than one direction and it can be difficult to find some addresses if they are not prominently displayed.
Although Daylight Savings Time occurred several weeks ago, you’re reminded to change smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. If your detectors are over 10 years old consider replacing them with more modern and efficient units. Many homes in town constructed in the 1970’s and 80’s still have original smoke alarms that may not provide adequate warning and protection.
Contact the Building Department if you have questions regarding building or remodeling, whether you need a permit, or any general questions on a proposed project. The office number is 860-844-5318.