We haven’t had much snow this year, but if you live in the upper Midwest, you know it’s coming!

When you get a significant snowfall on your roof and the temperatures drop sharply, roof problems begin to happen. For many homes these issues come in the form of ice dams that can cause significant damage and be costly to repair.

What are ice dams?

Ice dams are a ridge of ice on the bottom edge of your roofline along your gutter. (see image above)  Ice dams may not look like an issue, but they actually lead to water leaks and moisture which can lead to mold in the attic. This ice holds pools of water that when left untouched can penetrate the shingles below.

How do ice dams form?

Several factors come into play that a tribute to creating an ice dam. One is improper ventilation in your attic. When the attic it’s too hot and doesn’t release enough of the heat out of the vents in the roof heats up in the snow on top of the roof begins to melt quickly. The melted snow runs down to the gutters and re-freezes creating a dam. When enough ice accumulates at the gutters edge water can back up under your shingles and compromise your structure and leak into your house. The ice dams can also create enough weight on your gutters where they can pull bent down and damaged. Some  damage from ice dams may not be immediately noticed. For example, roof and attic insulation could be getting wet over a long period of time and the insulation loses its effectiveness. In addition, mold may begin to grow in that moist attic environment.

Ways to avoid ice dams

Being proactive is the best way to avoid ice dams. Several things can be done including increasing attic ventilation, minimizing heat sources in the attic and adding insulation.

If you have damage and need an ice dam removed, it’s best to call a trusted company that can handle it. If your brother in-law says he’ll be over with an ax, call us, we’ll be sure to beat him there.

One of the best ways to avoid ice dams from developing is to remove the snow after a snow fall.  From the ground, use a snow rake and gently remove the snow 4 feet up from the gutters. Use caution not to scrape the shingles or pull on the gutter.   By removing the snow as it accumulates, you remove the snow that would have normally melted and pooled at the gutter area.

We are here to help with any of your home contracting needs… including conquering ice dams.   Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on the phone at (608) 312-4343 or  reach us online. CLICK HERE