It’s February, which means that the winter weather is no doubt still in full swing! When it’s this cold and snowy out, the last thing you might want to think about is exterior home maintenance. After all, the more time you can spend curled up indoors during cold Midwestern winters, the better. However, snow and ice infallibly bring with them threats to your home—namely your roof—that are crucial for you to attend to, lest your home suffers severe damage come springtime.

As a roofing company, we’re not talking about missing shingles or excessive snow load, although those problems can be dangerous in their own right. We’re talking about the insidious ice dam. The bane of snowbound roofs everywhere, these formations can cause everything from water damage to soggy insulation, not to mention unattractive interior staining. They’re also horrible for the longevity of your roof. As a roofing company, we’ve seen it all.

What are ice dams, though? And how do you know if you’ll need professional ice dam removal? Though we discussed how ice dams form in detail in a previous blog, below, we offer a crash course on their formation, as well as how to tell when to call an ice dam removal service before the damage snowballs into something worse.

Ready to learn? Let’s dive in.

The Basics of Ice Dams

The creation of an ice dam is a complicated, nuanced process that requires a specific interaction between the heat from your home and the snow on your roof. For a detailed explanation of the formation of these structures, please visit our blog on the subject. The long and short of it, though, is that an ice dam can cause water to build up on your roof behind a mound of icicles, which allows that water to seep through your shingles and into the attic below.

Why is this a bad thing, though? Aren’t roofs designed to hold up to water? They do just fine in rainstorms, after all! We’d love to say that it’s that simple. Roofs work as well as they do due to their sloping shape and their gutters. Most well-maintained roofs keep your home dry in wet weather because the rain is allowed to flow off of them and, with the help of your gutter system, to be directed safely away from your home and your foundation.

When an ice dam creates standing water, it’s as if you’ve taken both your roof’s slope and gutters away and expect your roof to function as it did before. Of course, your roof is going to have problems! It’s not designed to sit in water for prolonged periods of time, and it doesn’t have the help it did before to deal with water exposure. Let an ice dam go for too long, and you will set your home up for moisture damage and the general deterioration that comes with it, such as mold, stains, sagging ceilings, and the list goes on and on.

Knowing that ice dams are a problem is all fine and dandy, but how do you know when you have one? Knowing the problem exists is the first step to solving it. Signs can vary, so you’re always best off calling a roof ice removal company, like Midwest Exteriors MN, for professional help. However, the following signs could indicate that you have an ice dam problem:

●        Ice formations | The hallmark of ice dams everywhere is significant ice formation near your home’s eaves or awnings, which is a strong indication that water could be backed up behind it. Be those formations in icicle form or not, even tiny bits of ice buildup can cause major problems down the line. Never try to remove this ice from your roof, especially with the use of physical strength, as this can significantly damage your shingles. Always contact a professional for help.

●        Water damage inside your home | If there is damage on your ceiling or on your walls, an ice dam could be to blame. As stated above, roofs struggle to handle standing water. Eventually, this water will seep in and cause problems. Though ice dams aren’t the only exterior maintenance problems that can cause moisture damage, if the moisture damage is present alongside other signs in this list, it pays to look into it.

●        Soggy attic insulation | As stated above, ice dams can cause moisture to seep into your attic. While the structural damage caused by this is nothing to sneeze at, it can also mean that your insulation gets soggy and gross. Soggy insulation, of course, becomes a haven for mold, which is a health hazard for you and your family.

For Professional Ice Dam Removal, Contact Midwest Exteriors MN Today

As a roofing contractor, we’ve got the expertise and know-how required to safely rid your home of damaging ice dams. Give our Lake Elmo location a call now at 651-346-9477.