An ice dam is always a tricky situation to handle . Minnesota and Wisconsin were just hit by another winter storm that dumped 6” to 12” on most of the states. Public and Private schools were canceled due to the snow, many businesses took a snow day, and most people were left shoveling a lot of heavy and wet snow. Cars and even some trucks were unable to drive down unplowed roads! Even the plowed roads have a sheet of ice leftover.
This kind of snow is perfect for making snowmen, building snow forts, and making the ideal snowball to toss at snowmen. Kids will enjoy snow-covered hills for skidding and tubing. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy fresh snow on the ski hills in Minnesota.
A large amount of heavy snow is far from ideal for your roof.
The heavy and wet snowpacks in tight do not blow around much from the wind and will freeze solid when the temperature drops.
This snow on your roof can quickly form into a damaging ice dam.
An ice dam occurs when your gutters fill with roof meltwater, and then the water freezes in your gutter. The gutter ice then prevents water from draining and causes an ice dam to form on your shingles near your gutters. The ice dam will trap water behind it. Water forms under the roof snowpack when house heat transfers through the roof and melts the roof snow. The water has no place to drain so it remains on your roof. Water will find a weak spot and penetrate.
Ice dam water can penetrate your shingles and seep into your roof baseboards. The water will find a way into your attic, attic insulation, items in your attic, and even find ways into your interior walls. The water can saturate the wood and cause expansion and general structural degradation. Extreme cold can freeze your attic and freeze water-saturated wood. This wood will then crack and splinter due to ice crystals forming in the space between the layers of cellulose in the wood. Frozen insulation becomes heavy and can fall to the floor of your attic. In a nutshell: the ice dam water’s damage can be magnified if extreme cold happens when you have saturated roof and attic wood.
Ice dams are commonly identified by rows of icicles along your gutters and drain spouts. These tell-tale signs will identify when your gutters are full of ice and no longer capable of draining the melted snow from your roof. Ice dams should be identified quickly and action should be taken care of as soon as possible. Ice dams can be easily removed by small teams of experienced Minneapolis roofers and the surrounding suburbs.
The trick to keep ice dams from ruining your roof or getting water damage on interior ceilings and walls is simple. Get a roof rake and pull the snow off the first 3 feet of your roof close the gutter. Doing this keeps the snow from compacting and creating the ice dam in the first place! This does require a little work on your part and you need to rake the snow off about every 4” if snow.
If you notice that you get ice dams every year it likely means you have poor ventilation in your soffits and we can also bet your attic is not insulated very well. If this is your house you will likely get moisture behind the walls even in your sheetrock. This will cause mold that could be a health hazard. At All American Restoration, we can help repair water damage if you learned about this ice dam problem too late. We can also remediate mold if we find that your home has been repeatedly damaged by moisture behind the walls.
Roofing in Minnesota is our specialty. We know a lot about the topic and hate to see a nice roof go to waste or get damaged from easily preventable ice dams. If you have water damage already give us a call before the problem gets even worse. This spring will be a bad year for ice dams and even worse if we get any more snow.
If you have any questions or need us to come to take a look at your water-damaged home give us a call. We would be happy to get your home dry and mold-free. We even have ways to help you prevent ice dams in the future so give us a call today or request a quote for your water damage caused by ice dams.