Why Ice Dam Removal Is Important
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Why Ice Dam Removal Is Important

Winter is coming! The temperature drop of fall is setting in, and it will continue to decrease as the Twin Cities area makes its way into winter.

When the temperature sits below freezing, the chance of ice dams increases, which can cause significant damage to your home. So, if ice dams form on the roof of your home, removal is the most prudent choice, and here’s why!

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Before we get into the importance of removing ice dams, we must first examine how they form.

When the temperature drops below freezing, precipitation will change from rain to snow. When snow falls on top of your roof, your chances of an ice dam forming will increase.

If your roof isn’t properly ventilated or insulated, ice dams can occur easily. As we all know, heat rises. In the winter, when your heating elements are working full-time, heat can escape to your ceiling.

When the snow has accumulated on your roof and your attic sits at a temperature above freezing, it will cause the snow to melt and begin to run to the edges of your roof where your gutters sit. This melted snow will accumulate on the edges and freeze again. Repeat this process a few times, and you’ll have a full-fledged ice dam on your roof.

Why Should You Remove Ice Dams?

Ice dams can cause a serious amount of damage to your home. It may also be harder to repair parts of your house in the winter since the harsh conditions make it difficult and dangerous.

Invading Moisture in Your Roof

When an ice dam forms, there’s a likely chance that moisture will seep underneath your shingles or vents, causing water damage to your roof. Once water seeps under your shingles, the underlayment and decking are subject to water damage. This can mean very costly repairs in the future.

Attic Leaks

If water seeps into your shingles, it can drip into your attic, causing even more water damage to your insulation and interior ceiling. The water can cause other roof parts to degrade and weaken, such as the beams holding your roof up. Once those wood beams are compromised, your roof has a higher chance of collapsing.

Mold Growth

Not only does water cause damage to the wood in your home, but mold can grow. Mold is dangerous to your health, causing respiratory problems. Mold can also compromise your roof’s integrity. If your attic is warm enough to cause an ice dam to form, it is warm enough for mold to grow. Stopping water from leaking into your attic is vital to avoid mold growth.

Crack and Fall Hazard

Ice dams also pose a potential hazard. If an ice dam is big enough, it can break and fall off your roof, pulling shingles and other parts of your roof with it. If someone is unlucky enough to be underneath the ice dam when it breaks, it could cause bodily injury.

Damage to the Rest of Your Home

Additionally, ice dams can damage parts of your home, including windows and doors. Breaking ice or leaking water can invade your home through cracks in windows and doors, causing even more problems.

How to Prevent Ice Dams On Your Roof

Prevention is the best way to avoid problems caused by ice dams. There are many ways to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof. The main way is to keep your attic at a consistently cooler temperature.

You can achieve this by:

  • Closing attic bypasses and plug holes so heat can’t escape.

  • Reinforcing your attic insulation to keep warm air in your home and not in your attic.

  • Adding roof and soffit vents if you do not have any.

You can also prepare your roof for winter by cleaning out your gutters, scheduling a roof inspection, and adding insulation to your attic.

How to Remove an Ice Dam

DIY ice dam removal is not recommended, as it can be dangerous to get on a ladder when snow is on the ground. Also, if not done correctly, you can damage your roof. Never use a hammer or chisel to break apart an ice dam, as you can cause extra damage to your roof.

The best way to remove an ice dam is by using hot water. You can slowly pour hot water on the ice dam to melt it, allowing you to remove chunks of ice from your roof safely.

However, this method only works for smaller ice dams. If you have a big problem, it's best to call in the professionals. In addition, keep an eye out for signs of storm damage to your roof after a particularly bad winter storm.

Contact Timberline Roofing & Contracting for Ice Dam Removal

Do you have an ice dam forming on your roof and want it removed? Contact Timberline Roofing & Contracting! Our professional roofers are certified to remove ice dams with special equipment and superior knowledge. Additionally, we can also assist you with storm damage repair along with window and siding work as well!

Get a free quote today, or give us a call at 612-284-5329 for fast help!

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