So far, we’ve had a pretty tame winter this year in Minnesota. Typical Minnesota winters can harm your home’s roof, siding, and gutters. The freezing temperatures can also take a toll on your heating bills. We want you to get through this winter with the least possible damage to your home and wallet.

Roof & Snow

Minnesota roofs are designed to withstand a lot of snow. It is the melting and freezing of the snow on your roof that is the main threat to your roof and gutters. The occurrence is called an ice dam.

Your home heats the bottom layers of the roof, except for the eaves. Melting water can’t get off of the roof (because the eaves are cold), so it goes under the shingles and freezes. This creates an ice dam at the edge of your roof. Ice dams can damage your shingles, ceilings, and floors. The infiltration of water can also create mold.

Don’t go up on your roof or try to knock the snow down with your shovel. You could hurt yourself or ruin your roof. The best way to remove an ice dam is with steam. Here are the common signs of an ice dam:

1. There is ice on the roof edge (eaves) or in gutters.

2. Icicles are hanging from the eaves.

3. There is water or ice on your outdoor siding or near windows.

4. You can see ice coming from the soffits (the horizontal surface that connects eaves to exterior walls).

5. There appears to be water on interior ceilings or walls.


Man on shingled roof removing an ice dam.

Highmark has dealt with thousands of ice dams and removes them using only high-pressure steam equipment.

If you notice an ice dam on your roof, give us a call today at 952-641-6086.


Icicles are a warning sign! Icicles form on the edge of a roof or gutters. Small icicles aren’t a problem, but larger icicles could be a sign of an ice dam. Icicles can become extremely heavy and sharp. This puts you, your roof, windows, and gutters in danger.

Shingled roof after ice dam has been removed and cleared out.

Signs Your Roof is in Jeopardy


  • Leaks in the attic
  • Issues with paint (like peeling) on interior walls
  • Higher energy costs than normal
  • Dark spots on your roof
  • Mold growth on walls

Windows & Insulation

Proper insulation will make your home more cozy and your bills more manageable. A cheap and popular choice for window insulation is the classic window insulation film. You can buy it at any big box store. Simply put tape around your window, stick the film to the tape, and tighten the film by heating it up with a hairdryer.

If that seems like too much work for you, there are rubber weather sealants. Just peel and press the weather stripping on to your window to seal your windows.

Draft stoppers, or draft snakes, are a great idea for your home if you have older doors or windows that may let in cold air in. Create a tube-like piece of fabric and fill it up with dried rice.

If you are a fan of interior decorating, heavy curtains can help insulate your windows. You could make your own or buy some to fit your fancy. Heavy fabrics or layered curtains over the windows will keep out drafts.

If you still want to let some light in your home, cellular shades may be a better choice for home insulation. These shades won’t keep as much heat in as the heavy curtains, but they will let in more sunlight.

If you have drafty windows, but can’t replace them right now, think about using a couple of these insulating methods for your window. Then, aim to replace your windows next spring.

Other Insulation

Insulating your garage door is a great idea if you like spending time in your garage. Why have a drafty garage when insulation is an easy and pretty affordable DIY project? It costs around $200 to properly insulate 2 garage doors that are 9ft wide. This will help your garage be warm in the winters and cool in the summer.

Insulating your water pipes is a wise idea, too. On average, you can save about $8-12 every year. This is a job you can do by yourself if your water pipes are easily accessible. Polyethylene foam is a great material to use and it is affordable.

Close up example of an ice dam around windows.

Snow Removal

Keeping walkways clear is crucial during the winter season. No one likes slipping on ice and falling on their butt! As for your back, try to shovel frequently instead of all at once. If you own a snowblower, be careful of debris, like rocks, that can dent your siding.

We at Exteriors by Highmark hope you have a safe and enjoyable winter season.

If you notice an ice dam on your roof, give us a call today at 952-641-6086.