Protecting Your Minnesota Home From Ice Dams

What Is An Ice Dam?

Ice dams are formed when heat from inside of a home escapes into the attic and warms the roof decking during the winter.  The heat, combined with the heat from the sun, can melt snow on the roof.  Melting snow on the upper roof and in the valleys runs down toward the eaves as water.  When it reaches the cold eaves and gutters it freezes.  This continuous thaw and re-freezing process creates an ice dam.  The result is water backing up under the roof shingles or behind fascia boards where It can soak through the roof decking or wall sheathing, causing tremendous damage to attics, ceilings, and walls.

Ice-Dam2Ice Dam Defense
There are 3 ways to defend against the damage ice dams cause.  All 3 work together.

  • Insulation/ Insulation keeps heat from escaping from your home’s living space into your attic.
  • Ventilation/ Ventilation removes the heat and keeps the roof deck evenly cool to help prevent snow from melting on the roof.
  • Water-proofing/Water-proofing is laid across the roof before shingles are applied and protects against dams that form on the roof.

With existing roofs, waterproofing underlayment is only an option if you remove the existing shingles or are building a new addition.  Either way, increasing the insulation R-value in the attic is always possible, and ventilation can usually be added to your attic quite easily.

An energy efficient roof minimizes problems with ice dams.  United Roofing & Remodeling can do an in-home evaluation to diagnose the performance of your home and together decide what the best course of action is for your situation.

Call us at 612-617-1717 for a free home inspection!

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