If you've got ice dams repeatedly building up, year after year, you may have heard that better circulation in your attic will help, and so you're contemplating putting in an attic fan, or upgrading the one you've got to a more powerful model.  Well, take a pause before you get on your work clothes, and read this article from the StarTrib home improvement columnist.  Attic fans are NOT the answer to ice dams; in fact, they can actually make the problem worse.

roof ice

Ice dams are the result of not enough cool air circulation in the attic, and too often what attic fans do is draw warmer air from the lower levels of the house into the attic, which only will compound the conditions that are producing the ice dam in the first place.

Ice dams cause more than those dangling icicles at the roof edge - they are a potential threat to the integrity of your roof and a leak waiting to happen.  The first step is to get them removed (we recommend professional installation; often homeowners attempting to take care of ice dams themselves either get hurt and/or damage their roofs in the process).  The next step is to make alterations to the roof's underlying structure to prevent them from recurring.

Quarve Contracting offers professional ice dam removal as well as installation of systems which can help prevent ice dam formation.