How to Spot an Ice Dam on Your Roof
Apple Exteriors

How to Spot an Ice Dam on Your Roof

Winter is in full swing, and the harsh elements of a Minnesota cold season can be long and grueling. While your family is cooped up inside, your home’s exterior may take a bit of a beating during the cold months. And one of the biggest culprits of exterior damage in the winter is ice dams.

An ice dam can cause significant damage if ignored for too long. So when preparing your home for winter, it’s good to know the warning signs of an ice dam forming.

Here’s a guide to what ice dams are and how to spot them on your roof this winter!

What’s An Ice Dam?

Ice dams are a common occurrence in Minnesota, but you might wonder what they are exactly. These large sheets of ice form off the eaves of roofs. So, if you see a wave of a huge section of ice hanging over the rooftop, it’s probably an ice dam. And, these ice dams don’t just look intimidating. In fact, they can be difficult to remove and pose safety risks, not to mention they can cause extensive property damage.

How are Ice Dams Formed?

The biggest culprit of an ice dam on your roof is heat loss from your home. If your attic isn’t properly insulated in the winter, the warm air from your heating elements will rise into your attic, increasing the average temperature.

When your attic becomes warm, the snow on your roof will begin to melt. The snowmelt will then run down to the edges of your roof, where the temperature isn’t as warm, and begin to freeze again. This process will repeat until you have a full-fledged ice dam on your roof!

What Kind of Damage Can an Ice Dam Do?

Ice dams can damage just any part of the exterior of your home. The accumulation of moisture on your roof can seep in under your shingles, promoting mold and other types of water damage.

When an ice dam gets big enough, it can possibly break off from your roof taking your shingles with it. Additionally, when an ice dam breaks off, it can be a potential hazard to your pets, yourself, and the rest of your family – not to mention your siding and windows.

Spotting an Ice Dam

The biggest indicator of an ice dam on your home is icicles. If icicles only appear on your gutters, and there is no moisture trapped behind them, an ice dam hasn’t formed yet. However, icicles are a major precursor to ice dams. Generally, a couple of icicles isn’t a huge cause for concern, but many in a row mean an ice dam will likely form.

Another way to spot an ice dam is in your attic. If you spot any kind of moisture or water stains, that is an indication of an ice dam beginning to form. And, as the ice dam worsens, it could even lead to exterior signs of damage such as a sagging roof.

Finally, look out for large sheets of ice near the edge of the roof. If it looks like a large sheet about to fall off, you’ve got an ice dam.

What’s The Best Method For Ice Dam Removal?

Some people try to remove ice dams on their own. You may think it’s easy to go onto the roof and push the ice off, but this is dangerous in many ways. First of all, it’s easy to slip and fall on an icy roof in the winter. Second, unless ice dams are removed the right way, they can ruin your roofing system.

Instead, the Arctic Steamer method from Apple Exteriors is the safest and most effective way to remove an ice dam without harming your rooftop. This professional steaming machine melts the ice slowly and thoroughly. And, our roofing professionals have the gear and know-how to do this process without anyone getting hurt. We can help with ice dam removal for your Minnesota building.

Contact Apple Exteriors for Ice Dam Removal

If you spot an ice dam on your home and need it removed, or have any other exterior needs such as roofing, siding, windows, or gutters, call on Apple Exteriors!

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

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