Proper Steps for Roof Ice Dam Prevention in Minnesota
Minnesota winters spell trouble for roofs and gutters on residential homes. Heavy snows and freezing temperatures lead to extreme build-up of icicles that contribute to possible expensive roof damage. This is often referred to as a roof ice dam.
Learn more about the benefits and practices of roof ice dam prevention by calling Elite Remodeling Services at (952) 646-2480. If your home of office in Farmington, Apple Valley, Burnsville, or Lakeville has roof damage from an ice dam, contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.
Ice Dams: What Are They?
Roof ice dams occur when the snow melts from the peak of your roof and builds up into a wall of ice at your roof’s edge. If the edge of your roof doesn’t rise above freezing temperatures, but the top of your roof does, you may see an ice dam forming above your gutters. An ice dam on your roof can become a bigger problem over time, especially if more snow melts and continues freezing on your roof edge.
The larger an ice dam grows, the more it impedes attic ventilation. Warm attic air continues to heat the top of your house, melting more snow that builds up behind the ice dam and refreezes. The accumulative effect puts pressure on the edge of your roof while potentially causing damage to your gutters.
If you need emergency roof repair from ice dam damage, contact Elite Remodeling Services today for a free inspection and estimate.
What Happens If You Ignore an Ice Dam?
Homeowners who see ice dams on their roofs may think that allowing them to melt will solve the problem. However, melting ice dams have to send the water somewhere, and often that means leaking the runoff into your home. This runoff can cause water damage to your attic insulation, interior or exterior walls, the underside of the roof, and other structural parts of your home.
Water damage can hurt more than your home’s structural integrity. You put your personal belongings at risk of water damage as well; plus, you invite mold, mildew, and other dangerous spores to build a colony inside your home. This threat to your home and family’s health and safety makes ice dam removal a crucial part of home ownership during the winter.
How to Prevent Ice Dams on Your Home’s Roof
Follow these steps for roof ice dam prevention, and you can enjoy a happier, safer home regardless of the freezing weather outside.
1. Check Your Roof for Leaks
Hot air escaping from your roof through cracks, gaps, and other air leaks contributes to the potential for ice dam formation. A well-insulate roof doesn’t allow heat to escape, keeping your roof cold and preventing snow from melting. If you check your attic and discover air leaks, use caulk or foam to plug them up.
2. Ensure Proper Attic Insulation Levels
Insulation may settle or shrink over time, especially if your attic has suffered from water or humidity damage. Thicker attic insulation keeps your roof cold and your attic warm, so if you notice your insulation layer doesn’t quite meet eight inches thick, it’s time for new insulation. Choose insulation ranging between 12 and 14 inches thick to give your attic the best protection.
Insulation rolls may not cover all of your attic’s potential heat loss spots. Instead, use blown-in insulation to fill in the gaps, such as around your joists and rafters.
3. Install Soffit and Roof Vents
Proper attic ventilation including your home’s soffit and roof vents allow the air inside your attic to circulate and regulate its own temperature. DIY jobs for attic ventilation often miss important factors like proper vent size and placement. Hiring professionals allows you to trust that experienced contractors will correctly and effectively provide you with efficient roof ventilation.
Other Tips for Preventing Roof Ice Dams
Homeowners wishing to avoid more complex ice dam prevention can focus on lightening their roofs’ snow loads, warding off ice dams by depriving them of melted snow. While we always suggest calling the roofing experts first, you can safely climb on your roof and use a rake to push snow down the sides of your roof, ensuring the snow falls to the ground and doesn’t pile up around the roof edge.
If you already see signs of a forming ice dam, cut the leg off a pair of pantyhose and fill it with road salt or pure calcium chloride crystals. Take the pantyhose leg and lay it across the ice dam, so it dangles over the age of your roof. As the dam melts, it creates an opening for future melted snow to drain through.
Do You Have Ice Dam Roof Damage?
If you have roof damage from an ice dam, contact Elite Remodeling Services immediately. We can help restore property before any further damage ensues.
The key to roof ice dam prevention lies in a well-ventilated and insulated roof. If you want to prevent ice dams on your Minneapolis area home, call our team at Elite Remodeling Services at (952) 646-2480 for a free inspection and estimate.