For those living in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area, ice dams are an unfortunate fact of life. An ice dam is essentially a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof during the wintertime when conditions are right, and when your home’s attic is missing a key element like proper insulation or air sealing. Ice dams are far from benign, as they can damage your roof, walls, drywall, and insulation while also putting gutters and downspouts at risk.
If ice dams are causing winter havoc for your home, it’s important to realize that there are things that can be done to put the problem to rest. Here are a few tips for those who are looking to make ice dams an issue of the past.
Things You Can Do at Home
Many Minnesota homeowners are more than used to difficult weather and would like to take things into their own hands when it comes to dealing with ice dams if at all possible. One way to start is by shoveling off the roof with a snow rake, which prevents damming and helps to keep excess weight from damaging the structural integrity of the roof. This can, of course, be a dangerous process, so be sure to take extreme caution when approaching such a task. Another step you may want to consider taking is installing heated cables around the edges of your home. This can help melt current ice dams to allow proper drainage so ice doesn’t get backed up.
While both of the above tips will help to break up ice dams and prevent further damage from occurring, neither will actually get to the root cause of the problem. There are a variety of home performance issues that can contribute to ice dams, and the most effective way to ensure that they never become a problem again is to hire a contractor who understands the issue and can diagnose what’s happening in your attic.
Solving the Problem: RetroGreen Can Help
In most cases, issues with ice dams will come down to a lack of proper air sealing (soffit ventilation) and insulation. When these important elements are missing, it’s typical for the attic to fill with hot air, which heats the snow/ice on the roof of your home and allows it to melt. Once this snowmelt hits the edge of your roof, it freezes, causing ice dams.
The real way to fix the issue is to focus on stopping direct air leakage issues, improving ventilation, and correcting insulation in your attic. RetroGreen is here to help you get to the bottom of the problem. Don’t fall prey to some company by allowing them to come in and blow more insulation on top of problems. Also Having a new roof installed is not going to get to the root of the heat loss/Ice dam issues either.