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Ice Dam Removal Naperville IL
 Prep the soffit

Remove existing shingle molding and frieze boards and replace any rotten fascia. Cut in additional soffit venting where necessary and remove existing soffit grilles to improve airflow.

Begin the job by pulling off the gutters. Removing gutters can be a real drag, but they may be reusable—if they survive the removal intact and if the color matches the new trim. Some aluminum styles are easily kinked, so have someone help you take them down. If you're planning to reuse them, leave the drainpipes in place and simply disconnect them at the elbows. Steel yourself; you may end up having to replace the gutters along with the new trim if things don't go well.

Most homes already have soffit vents. They conduct outside air into the attic to help prevent ice dams in the winter and keep attics cool in the summer. It's best to remove existing vent covers for freer airflow before installing ventilated soffit panels. You should have about 1 sq. ft. of vents for every 300 sq. ft. of ceiling area, so add more holes if you're lacking ventilation (Photo 1). The holes don't need to be pretty; they'll be covered with new material. For ease of cutting, position new holes in the spaces between the soffit framing (look for soffit nails to locate). For even ventilation, space holes fairly evenly across each soffit section.

The old wood fascia boards must be sound enough to hold the new fascia nails. Check the wood quality by jamming a screwdriver tip into the wood. Replace punky or rotten wood with straight pine boards the same width and thickness as the old.

Shingle moldings are narrow trim boards nailed to the top of the fascia if gutters aren't used. They, like drip edge, direct water runoff away from the face to forestall weather damage. Pry them off with a flat bar and pull any leftover nails to prepare for the aluminum.

If the house has frieze boards (trim boards directly below the soffits;, pull them off unless their removal leaves an unfinished gap between the siding and the new soffit. If that's the case, leave it and butt the J-channel against it. Removing the frieze board is optional. Do it if you ever expect to replace your siding. That way, you'll be able to strip off the old siding without wrecking the new soffits.

Aside from the jigsaw, none of these tools costs much, so it's usually cheaper to buy rather than rent them. Home centers carry the same quality tools the pros use.

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