It isn’t really winter in Minnesota until we’ve received our first call for ice dam removal.

What are ice dams? Ice dams are large blocks of ice that form at the edge of a roof that prevent snowmelt from flowing properly through your gutters and out your downspouts away from your home. Eventually, the dam becomes so large that when the water freezes it gets trapped behind the dam and makes it ways through the cracks in your roof.

Ice dams are caused by temperature variations within your roof. The heat from the attic is escaping and causing the snow to melt and make its way down the roof. Unfortunately, the cold temperatures outside do not allow that melted snow to get very far which results in an ice dam forming.

If left unattended ice dams can lead to major damage. Since the water cannot run off your roof, it freezes and can cause interior leaks, as well as, permanent damage to your roof and shingles.

So, what are the signs of an ice dam?

Large icicles hanging from your roof or ice buildup on gutters. A buildup of icicles at the edge of your roof is a clear sign water is not draining properly. Small icicles may not indicate an ice dam, but icicles that have amassed to anything bigger than the diameter of a pop can is a distinct sign of an ice dam. Clogged gutters may also be and indication of an ice dam formation, so be sure to check your gutters too.

Ice buildup on exterior walls. You may notice ice in some unusual places, such as exterior walls, behind your siding, or behind your soffit. Ice dams can also form in these places and are most noticeable once the warm weather comes back around, as you will see water stains.

Interior leaking or water damage. As we mentioned above, ice dams can cause your home to spring a leak and water can seep into your home. Water damage on your walls, floors, or ceilings should be addressed immediately.

Ice dam season usually heats up in January or February in Minnesota. Check out “How to Prevent Ice Dams”  or “Why Ice Dams Need to Be Removed” for more information. If you have more questions on ice dams, don’t hesitate to call us at 952-641-6086.

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