How to Prevent Ice Dams This Winter
Apple Exteriors
/ Categories: Roofing, Roof Repair

How to Prevent Ice Dams This Winter

If you live in Minnesota, you know that getting through the winter is no easy feat. Not only do you have to stay warm and protected from storms, but you need to ensure your home and other assets are safe, too.

Winters in Minnesota come with a myriad of challenges. One of those challenges is those pesky ice dams that can form on the top of your roof. While icicles might look festive, if many start to form, an ice dam is likely the culprit.

When the temperature dips down and the snow starts to blow in, ice dams are almost inevitable. However, there are plenty of ways to prevent ice dams from happening at all.

Here are some ice dam prevention tips from the experts at Apple Exteriors.

How Do Ice Dams Develop?

Before you know how to prevent ice dams, it’s a good idea to know how they form and what they are. Simply put, ice dams are sheets or ridges of ice that form along roof edges. They keep snow and water from draining, and this can lead to roof damage.

As you know, hot air rises. In the winter, the heat inside your home will rise to the attic. This heat will stop here and find its way out through your roof eventually, keeping your roof warm. In a home with good insulation and a solid roofing system, the rising temperatures won’t impact the drainage as often.

But, if the attic isn’t well-insulated, the rising heat will cause the snow on top of your roof to begin to melt. The snowmelt will run down to the edge of the roof and become trapped by the ice hanging off. This process repeats until the ice dam is too big to ignore.

What Damage Does an Ice Dam Do?

An ice dam can cause many issues in and outside your home. The trapped water in the dam will surely leak into your house causing water damage to both your interior and your siding. So, pay attention to any signs of moisture such as stains or water drips.

Furthermore, ice dams can cause clogs in your soffits, damage your gutters, and become a hazard for you and your family. While a couple of icicles might not be a huge risk, large amounts of ice falling off a roof can harm people or pets. And, if the ice dam grows large enough, it could break off and cause broken shingles, sagging roofs, and more.

Ice Dam Prevention

The simple solution to preventing ice dams on your roof is keeping your roof cold. However, it’s not the easiest task to accomplish since about a third of all heat is lost through the roof.

Still, there are some effective ice dam prevention tips you can follow to reduce the risk of roof damage.

Secure All Attic Leaks

The first step is to close up any air leaks from your ceiling to your attic. Doing so will keep the heat your home generates in the living spaces rather than the attic. If you need help finding and sealing attic leaks, reach out to our roofing contractors for assistance.

Insulate the Attic

The fastest step to ice dam prevention is insulation. If your attic doesn’t have thick enough insulation, every bit of warm air in your attic will rise to your roof. If your home is getting older or you generally have insulation issues, it’s probably best to make some upgrades.

If you have less than 8 inches of insulation, it is recommended you install up to 12-14 inches of insulation in total to keep the temperature in your attic regulated.

How To Safely And Effectively Remove Ice Dams

The only truly effective way to remove ice dams without causing harm to your roof is through the steaming method. And, it’s best to leave this to the professionals. At Apple Exteriors, we use a professional-grade Arctic Steamer that slowly heats up the ice dam.

We have the training to address the problem and ensure the ice dam is gone completely. Plus, you won’t put your own safety at risk by getting up on a frozen roof yourself.

Contact Apple Exteriors for Ice Dam Removal

If you still end up with an Ice dam over winter, do not worry. Apple Exteriors has the right tools for the job! We use the latest technology and expertise to get rid of those pesky ice dams in a flash.

Schedule a free quote online or give us a call at 651-36-APPLE (651-362-7753) today!

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