What Causes Ice Dams On My Roof & How Do I Stop It from Happening?

Ice-Dam-Removal-1Every winter thousands of homeowners in Minnesota have to deal with ice dams on their roofs. Ice dams are the result of an interaction between the snow cover on the roof, heat loss from the house and the outdoor temperatures. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof; ice dams form when heat from the house escapes into the attic and warms the roof enough to melt the snow. As the water flows down the roof it reaches a portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes, creating an ice dam. This link from the U of M explains it all in detail.

The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that have an average temperature that is below freezing. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic, where it can leak down into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling.

ice-damTo ultimately solve the problem from happening in the future you need to air-seal the attic to stop warm air from escaping through openings for pipes, electrical wiring and around ceiling lighting fixtures, add the proper amount of insulation, and then make sure you have adequate ventilation from the soffits to the vents on your roof top.

To dispel an old myth: Gutters do not cause or even increase the severity of ice dams. We know, because we remove ice dams from hundreds of homes and commercial buildings each winter that don’t even have gutters!

Heat cables are not the right answer 99% of the time; they have their own issues. Ice still continues to build up around them, as they melt more snow and produce more water than can drain off the roof during the cold winter.

Ice Dam Prevention and Removal, What Do I Need To Do NOW?

ice-dam-removal-2A professional roof steaming system is hands down the best way to remove your ice dams before they damage your home, or before they do any more damage. Our ice dam steamer system works instantaneously, plus it’s safe and effective. Not like using other methods like: hammers, hatchets, hot water heaters, salt pucks or worst. We’ve seen the roof damage in the springtime that was done by people using any means possible to break up the ice dam, so water would quit leaking into their homes.

Don’t damage your roof, leave ice dam removal to the professionals. Our techs are fully trained on safe, proper removal of ice dams using our professional roof steaming system.

Give Mid-State Seamless Gutters a call at 612-361-9660 or send us an email, let us safely remove the ice dam from the roof of your home or business.