Ice Dams on Your Roof: How to Prevent Them

Ice dams cause some of nature’s most beautiful sights — icicles — but they also wreak havoc on your home. (DepositPhotos)

If you’re fortunate enough to live in the Sunbelt or some other balmy region, chances are you’ve never heard of — or at least experienced — ice dams.

I, on the other hand, live in New England, so every winter, ice dams are as common — and as welcoming — as frostbite and sub-zero temperatures.

That’s because ice dams can be problematic, destructive, and virtually impossible to remove once fully formed.


Ice dams on house in winter
Ice dams lead to icicles. (DepositPhotos)

Ice Dams: Beautiful, But Problematic

Ironically, ice dams are often responsible for one of the most beautiful and iconoclastic of all winter images: glistening crystal-clear icicles hanging from gutters and eaves.

Heck, even I marvel at the delicate beauty of icicles — but only when they’re hanging off someone else’s house.

So, what causes ice dams?

It all starts with a roof blanketed in snow. The snow layer sitting directly on the roof begins to melt, and water runs down the roof under the blanket of snow.

When the water hits the overhanging eave of the house, it begins to freeze. Some

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Re-roofing vs. Roof Replacement: How to Save Energy and Money

Installing quality metal roofing now is a recession-proof investment that could last 50-plus years.

Thinking twice about renovating your home? It’s a common dilemma. You know your home needs updating and your roof needs replacement, but economic uncertainty freezes you from moving forward.

Unfortunately, homes don’t wait for recessions to end. Roofing wears out and severe weather strikes. So, there’s no time like the present to make smart improvements.

Consider these points before planning a major renovation.


Workers install new metal roofing over asphalt shingles
Re-roofing — installing a new roof over an existing one — is a cost-efficient alternative to roof replacement.

1. Know Your Options

Want to save money on utility bills? Re-roofing — that is, installing a new roof over an existing one — is a surefire way to do that.

Re-roofing with quality metal materials — those that are coated to increase energy efficiency — can save you up to 40 percent on annual heating and cooling costs.

Even basic, unpainted metal roofs reflect more solar radiation than asphalt roofs. But low-glare metal roofs with certain colors and coatings reflect mostly non-visible, infrared and ultraviolet rays. These produce the most heat and cause the most damage.

A common question is, “How much does

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How to Clean Brass That Has Tarnished

You can remove years of tarnish from brass knobs with simple ingredients.

Some people can revive just about anything in their home, but feel stumped when they encounter one particular material. Want to learn how to clean brass? Then read on!

Have you ever wondered, “Does brass tarnish?” If so, you probably haven’t owned anything that’s brass!

This building material, which is made from copper and zinc, may be beautiful, durable and resist corrosion, but it eventually tarnishes, according to Popular Mechanics.

Fortunately, when that happens, there is a solution.

Here’s how to clean brass: Place 3/4 cup of lemon juice in a bowl, add 1/2 cup of baking soda, mix well and submerge the brass pieces.

After about 30 minutes, scrub each piece with a scouring sponge until it’s shiny. 

And that’s it!

You can file this under “We practice what we preach.” I used this recipe to clean tarnished brass cabinet knobs, and it worked beautifully.

Let us know how it goes for you in the comments below!  


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Solved: What does ‘Brushless Motor’ Mean?

Brushless motors are more expensive than their counterparts to produce, but their benefits outweigh the initial cost. (DepositPhotos)

The latest advancement in power tools is the use of brushless motors. But what exactly is a brushless motor, and what are its benefits?

To fully understand this technology, let’s take a quick look at the existing technology: brushed motors.

How Brushed Motors Work

In a typical electric motor, there are permanent magnets (stator) on the outside, and a spinning armature (rotor) on the inside. The rotor contains an electromagnet. When electricity passes through the electromagnet, it creates a magnetic field inside the rotor that attracts and repels permanent magnets in the stator.

However, to make the motor spin 360 degrees, it’s necessary to change the polarity of the electromagnet, and a pair of brushes helps do that.

Motor brushes aren’t brushes at all, but small blocks of carbon connected to a compression spring. The brushes press against spinning electrodes attached to the rotor. As the electromagnet spins, the brushes change the magnetic polarity.

Brushed motors are reliable, relatively efficient and inexpensive to manufacture, but they have distinct limitations.

First, carbon brushes eventually wear out and must be replaced. As the motor

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Review of Loyalty Lawn Care

Find the best lawn care service in your area and keep grass healthy. This review looks at Loyalty Lawn Care for its quality of service and value for money. | Photo Credit: Shutterstock © SingjaiStocker

Keeping your lawn healthy, lush and free of weeds is no easy task. Proper lawn care takes more than just regularly mowing the grass. It’s crucial to fertilize turf with the right balance of nutrients, get rid of crabgrass and other weeds and prevent grubs from destroying your grass. To keep lawns looking pristine throughout the year, many homeowners hire professional lawn care experts to handle this part of property ownership. Lawn care technicians have the expertise to maintain your lawn and prevent and mitigate any issues affecting your lawn’s health. 

Choosing the best lawn care provider in your area can be challenging, though. You need to find a trusted lawn care company that has good recommendations and reviews from many satisfied customers. To help you with this task, our reviews team has evaluated top professional lawn care companies. In this comprehensive Loyalty Lawn Care review, we take a thorough look at the range of services this company provides, the value you’ll get for your

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5 Things You Should Know About Kitchen Cabinet Design

Planning your dream kitchen? Much of its success hinges on the kitchen cabinet design — after all, cabinets take up the most space. And you need to make a lot of decisions about those cabinets before ordering them.

Here are 5 things you should know before choosing your cabinets.

Professional designer at Cabinets To Go discusses a remodeling plan with a new client

1. Your Kitchen’s Measurements

It’s common to flip through magazines, scroll through blogs or spot something on TV and want it for your home.

And buying it may be as easy as picking up the phone, tapping a button or ordering through a digital assistant like Alexa or Google Nest.

But while that works for appliances, décor and window treatments, you need a different approach for big permanent installations in rooms with limited space.

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, one size does not fit all. You may like what you see in a galley kitchen, but the same design won’t work in your L-shaped kitchen.

On top of that, you may have specific wants that require more space than your kitchen allows.

That’s why it’s important to know the room’s exact measurements. Your designer can use this information to create a cabinet plan that maximizes space and works for you. 

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