Did You Have Ice Dams This Winter? Here’s How to Fix the Damage and Help Prevent Them Next Season
As the snow is finally melting around the Twin Cities, it is time to assess the damage to properties that the winter may have caused. The thaw has given us a chance to see what (if any) damages were caused by ice dams – and how to avoid them next winter.
What Are Ice Dams?
The ice dams that you may or may not have had on your home were a buildup that occurred right where the snow was supposed to thaw and melt off – around the edges of the roof and on the gutters. How these Titanic-busters (icebergs) came about was because at some point the snow on the roof melted but subsequently froze again. This can be caused by a hot attic, the radiant heat of the sun, or a day when temps are right at freezing.
Essentially what happens to form an ice dam is snow on the top of the roof will melt, run down the peak, but then freeze before it flows off the house. An ice dam has a (cough) “snowball effect” in that the bigger the blockage is, the more melting water it catches and eventually freezes therefore making the dam bigger and bigger as the winter goes on.
Damage That Ice Dams Cause
The biggest issues that result to your home from ice dams are the a) moisture and b) weight. Eventually the moisture will have to go somewhere when it’s backed up and prevented from flowing into gutters. Water will find its way through any cracks or joints in Minneapolis roofing material and first make its way into attic insulation. The moisture will eventually seep through to the ceiling and drywall and be very costly to repair.
The weight is the other big problem that ice dams bring with them. Ice building up on gutters can cause them to pull away from the home, causing water damage in your basement in the rainy seasons if they are not fixed. That weight can cause sagging in the roofing materials as well, causing water to catch in the dips instead of flowing freely into the gutters.
Ice Dam Prevention and Repair
The first thing you need to do is fasten your gutters, fascia, any loose shingles, and any other damage caused by the ice dams. Scheduling a Minneapolis roofing inspection from Snap Construction is the best way to know what needs to be fixed and the proper method to do so.
Step two is prevention of ice dams for when winter rears its head next season. You’ll want to make sure that your attic is properly insulated so that too much heat or cold doesn’t enter either from the house or the exterior environment. You’ll also want to make sure the attic is ventilated therefore any heat that does enter can be properly exhausted.
Ice dams are more than just a nuisance and what looks like a simple buildup can actually cause some significant damage down the line. There’s no better time than now to make sure your roof is in good standing before the Spring and to get a beat on preparing the area for when the snow starts to fall again next winter.