The gutter and roofing system on your home are designed to catch and then redirect the snow and rain away from your home's structure in order to keep the foundation and walls safe from moisture and water damage. However, every winter that comes around in Minneapolis, gutter systems are tested when the fluctuating temperatures are causing the snow to melt and then refreeze again right on the edge of the roof which then create a dam.

The Cause of Ice Dams

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Ice dams are able to form when the top part of the roof is at an above freezing temperature for a while, while the lower part of the roof is at a below freezing level. Due to these changes and those throughout the day, snow towards the top will melt and fall down to the bottom. Once the water freezes again when it reaches the gutters. This forms a dam made of ice. Ice dams are often the cause of having a improperly insulated roof or attic. This allows the warm air from the home to escape from the top of the roof. This can also cause a lack of proper ventilation throughout the attic, trapping heat inside the attic and then having it warm the roof top. Damages Done by Ice Dams

Ice dams create a barrier that water cannot pass through, so as more snow melts at the top of the roof and then falls down to the bottom, it is blocked by the dam and can form a large puddle. Roofs are not designed to hold large pools of water, the water will then go through small porous holes in the roof and into the home. This can create many different problems for the overall structure of your home. Staining of the walls, mold, rotting problems, termites and even the strength of your home can be compromised.

Ice on your gutters can propose serious damage. The weight from the ice can misalign the gutter system so it is no longer effective at moving the water away from the home, but bring it closer. Gutters can even collapse under this type of weight.

Prevent Ice Dams
  • Clean your gutters every spring and fall
  • Ensure the attic is well ventilated
  • The attic should also be well insulated
When ice dams develop on your roof, professional removal is recommended in order to avoid damaging your roof or other structural areas.

If ice dams develop on your MN roof this winter, call Quarve.  We will be able to remove the ice dams and assess the damage to let you know if repairs are needed. We understand that these ice dams can be severe, but if they are caught earlier enough, you might have saved yourself a headache in the long run.