Compared to Minnesota snows, a few icicles dangling pleasantly from your roof in the winter might not be a big deal. In fact, you might find them downright magical. However, make no mistake, if you are having large icicles form on your roof, it is a sign of an ice dam, and ice dams damage roofing.
Spotting Ice Dams
Ice dams form when the top of your roof is above freezing and the bottom of your roof is not. The snow on the top of your roof will melt and then that water will refreeze at the bottom, forming what we know as an ice dam. When formed in gutters, this means the gutters will not flow properly and may even become damaged and fall from the home due to weight. However, ice dams can form on the roof itself, and the damage due to this can be much worse.
If your home is forming ice dams, you can usually tell by the icicles. Small icicles are to be expected due to natural snow melt, but it is the larger icicles that are the issue. If you see large icicles, check for the following:
- Icicles forming in, on, or behind the gutters
- Ice or water forming on exterior walls
- Ice seeping through door frames or windows
If you see any of these signs, it can mean damage to windows, doors, siding, and your roof. It is important that you address these issues as soon as possible, even in the middle of winter, because they cause damage quickly.
How Ice Dams Damage Roofing
The main issue with ice dams is that ice is water. However, ice is a more pervasive form of water. When it freezes, that water expands. This means if you have an ice dam forming on your roof, the water that permeated even the smallest little gap in this shingles will cause that gap to expand with the ice. Not only does this make ice dam formation more likely in that area next winter, but when the ice melts, it gives that water an immediate bypass of your protective roof.
Ice pulling away shingles is major concern, but ice dams can also cause structural damage with the expanding nature of ice. All that can be an expensive fix, but adding onto that the water that can seep into your home as well as ruin your insulation, and a simple ice dam becomes an expensive project that you have to do every year.
If you have ice dams, you not only need to fix them as soon as they are spotted, but you need to prevent them from coming back. Unfortunately, ice dams can be caused by a number of different issues. Everything from poor ventilation in the attic to recessed lighting can cause ice dams. Once one forms, it is not just a one time occurrence. Until the underlying is identified and fixed, it will come back every winter and cause new damage. If you have ice dams that always form in a particular area, a little investigation can usually reveal the underlying issue. However, if you simply cannot spot what might be causing it, it is best to contact a roofing professional. While you may only think of it to help you fix the damage, a roofing professional can help you find the cause as well as help you fix it.
If you have an ice dam prone home in Minnesota and you are tired from fixing the damage caused by it every year, contact us today. Call us at 952-412-0094 and we will get out there as fast as a cheetah to help you identify ice dam causes with a free, no obligation inspection and fix ice dam damage.