Ice dams, icicles and IC lights (or, now paranoia grows when you’re snowed in)

Well, it’s Snowpocalypse Part 3, and we haven’t seen this much snow in the DC/Baltimore area since 1899.  Which means we won’t be seeing another dump like this in another 100 years right?  I can only cross my fingers and hope that’s true.

I whined about worrying about my roof on my Facebook page (since I’m nothing if not a big fat baby about everything), and got some pretty groovy info from a HS buddy.  He told me to be careful of ice damming.  I’d heard of that, but didn’t really know too much about it.  Until I surfed around that is…and now another bout of paranoia is born!  *cue impressive music*

Honestly though?  Can’t really do too much, since the whole row house with no attic entrance thing snafu’s any idea of (1) getting up there to shovel (but since there are winds of 50 MPH it’d be stupid of clutzy me anyhow) and (2) putting up a fan in the attic/crawl space between the top floor & roof to lower the temp & freeze any ice-ness.

So with my paranoia creeping up to Gaslight-like proportions (hey, did the lights just dim a little…?)  I surfed around a bit and found some good, easy-even-for-me-to-understand info about ice dams at State Farm’s Web site.  Though it doesn’t soothe me very much because the best fix is to even out the temperature in the attic and prevent heat from rising to said attic (which makes the roof snow melt and turn to…wait for it…damming ice), at least I know what’s going on.  Or may be going on.  (A gal can hope it’s not that bad, right?  RIGHT???  Thanks. I needed that.)

I’m really considering putting in an entrance to the attic from the second bedroom, to avoid this in the future.  Of course, it could all be a problem with the whole Feck Episode, which thanks to the Snopocalypse hasn’t been fixed yet.  And, of course, I have to figure out how to prevent this from happening in future, which means insulating.  Which leads me to my next topic….

With the whole paranoia-surfing thing, I came across the difference between an IC recessed lighting fixture and a non-IC recessed lighting fixture.  Since the guy who gave me the insulation estimate about a week back figured I may have non-IC recessed lighting (read: lighting fixtures that wouldn’t allow insulation due to fire issues, eek!) wasn’t sure which ones I had, he said baffle-ing each fixture would be the way to go.

But now that the interwebs said to check my “cans” to see if they were marked IC?  Apparently as a whole IC fixtures are silver inside the “can” (recessed housing), and non-IC are white.  Armed with that info, I went ahead and did that.  Lo and behold?  They *are* IC!!!  They’re “Air Tite”, in fact.  I don’t know if that means they’re actually air-tight, but at least I know they can be insulated!  Why the guy who came by to do my insulation estimate didn’t unscrew a lightbulb to check is beyond me.  Dunno if that’d make a difference?  I guess it would though; with IC’s you can blow insulation up there and not worry about the light fixtures…I think.  Or at least it makes insulating a WHOLE lot easier.  So as Bill Murray would say, I’ve got that going for me.

Add to that the fact that I’ve swapped almost all of my recessed lights with CFL lights (thanks for the price break for those babies, BGE Lighting Discounts Program!)  I need to pick up some dimmable CFL’s for the two bedrooms since regular CFL’s will burn out faster but otherwise?  I’m CFL-city baby.  So hopefully that’ll help with the lower-heat emission as well as the lower energy expense?  I’m just wishing here….

Okay, enough blogging for today.  I’d say I’m postponing shoveling today but honestly?  I’m not gonna do any shoveling today.  I shoveled a bit last night and a bit this morning (“a bit this morning” = 5 inches of slushy snow, blech.)  I’m throwing in the towel, at least ’til the wind dies down!

I know I’ll look back at alllllll this and giggle about my naïveté “way back then”.  And I know that most of the time houses are lovely and you don’t have to worry about stuff as long as you’re down with general upkeep (thanks to everyone who has soothed me in the past few days!!!)  But right now?  As much as I know you should never wish for time to pass quickly for fear of losing time in your life you’ll never get back?  I’m longing to get there already!


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