Ice dams are one of the biggest threats to your roof’s structural integrity. Unfortunately, many property owners see the dams in the winter and either ignore them or go about dislodging them the wrong way. In this article, you’ll learn more about ice dams and why you should call Patriot Homes when you experience them.

Icicles and Ice Dam forming on top of the gutters because of snowy roof

What Is an Ice Dam?

This phenomenon refers to the buildup of ice on gutters and roof eaves. The mound of ice or heavy snow layer becomes a dam that traps water from melted snow on your roof.

The trapped water will flow to alternate exits. As a result, your home becomes more susceptible to water damage. Thus, you need to act fast to remove ice dams once you spot signs on your roof edge.

What Are the Causes of Ice Dams?

Ice accumulates on your roof due to poor attic insulation and poor airflow through the soffit vents. Other possible causes include the following:

  • Radiant heat from the sun
  • Fast temperature swings
  • Lack of or improperly installed gutter protection systems and roof vents

What Is the Best Method of Ice Dam Removal?

The best way to remove it is to melt the ice with steam. Using a pickaxe, roof rake, or shovel to break the dam can put unnecessary strain on your roof surface.

It can also lead to accidents. Thus, channeling steam onto the roof until the snow melts is the safest way of removing ice dams.

You need to call a professional team if ice dams form on your roof. It's not a DIY project unless you can hire steam delivery systems. You also must ensure the melting snow has an unobstructed path to follow away from your roof.

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams?

You can prevent ice dams by eliminating all possible causes. For example, improper ventilation and insulation often lead to an ice dam forming on your roof. A warm attic space leads to ice damming, so you need to take steps to ensure a cold roof.

Therefore, it's best to run a blower door test to ensure your home has no inefficiencies that could allow warm air to leave your home toward the roof surface.

Where no inefficiencies exist within the home, you can take your ice dam prevention checks outdoors. Check for clogged gutters and downspouts, and make sure nothing is blocking your roof vents.

How Can You Spot Ice Dam Damage?

The first sign you should look for is water damage on your exterior walls. In more severe cases, the ice buildup will damage the roof deck and cause roof leaks. You can spot leaks by checking for yellow or green water marks around the underside of the roof.

Preventing Ice Dams Is Easy!

End your search for "ice dam removal near me" in Andover, MN, by calling Patriot Homes today at (763) 957-2066 or contacting us online for a professional inspection. Let us help prevent ice dam formation this winter and protect your roof shingles from water damage.