It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Minnesota has its fair share of severe winter weather. Excessive snow and ice are just a part of living in this great region, but if you’re not properly prepared, the colder weather can cause significant problems for both you as well as your home. There are a number of home maintenance tasks that are vital in Minnesota to ensure your home is protected from the snow and ice that plaque our area during the winter. At Twin Cities Fence, we offer a variety of snow removal and ice dam prevention services to ensure your home stays protected throughout even the most treacherous winter snow storms. If you don’t have someone to call to handle your snow removal and ice dam prevention needs, look no further than Twin Cities Fence.
What is Ice Dam Prevention?
Before we can talk about ice dam prevention, we have to discuss how ice dams form in the first place.
Ice dams are most prevalent after heavy snow when warm air inside your attic causes the roof to heat up and melt snow on your roof. When this snow melts, it will then work its way down to the roof edge where it refreezes again, causing a mound of ice to form. This ice traps water and can cause it to eventually seep under the shingles and make its way back through the roof of your house and into your attic and ultimately your ceilings and into your home.
The best time to stop ice dams is before they ever start, and we’ve outlined a number of steps to ensure you never have to deal with them at your home.
A Cold Roof is Key to Stopping Ice Dams from Forming
Ice dams form when snow melts, causing water to run down the roof where it then refreezes at the roof’s edge. This only happens when your roof warms to above freezing, making it warm enough to melt snow, while the edge of your roof remains below freezing. If snow is melting and forming ice dams, it’s likely because of a warm attic. Heat will often escape from the interior of your home into your attic, which warms the wood and shingles and causes the snow to melt and form ice dams on your roof.
The key for ice dam prevention is to keep your roof and attic cold. If you drive through your neighborhood after a big snow, you’ll notice some roofs have a thick blanket of snow, whereas warm roofs will have clear spots where the snow has melted and icicles hanging over the eaves.
Follow the following steps to keep your roof cold and prevent ice dams:
Check your attic insulation depth
If you notice that you have 8 inches or less of attic insulation, its likely time to add more. Current building code recommends between 12-14 inches of cellulose or fiberglass insulation, which will help to reduce your chance of having ice dam problems. At Twin Cities Fence, we’ll be glad to come out to your home to check to see if you have adequate attic insulation to prevent ice dams from occurring this winter.
Close up any attic bypasses
It’s estimated that one third of heat loss occurs through the ceiling into a home’s attic. This loss often occurs due to air leaks from drywall gaps, unblocked walls and cracks around pipes, light fixtures, chimneys, etc. These air leaks can be hard to spot, but if your insulation is raked back, you should be able to seal these areas with caulk or spray foam. Closing up these air gaps can not only reduce ice dams, but it can also save on energy bills as well.
Add roof and soffit vents
Another way to keep your roof and attic cooler is to add soffit and roof vents. These vents can draw warm air out and cool air in to ensure proper ventilation. You can also install a continuous ridge vent for additional ventilation as well.
Snow Removal to Prevent Ice Dams
Another way to prevent ice dams is to rake the snow off your roof after a heavy snowfall. This is not a DIY project, so it’s critical that you contract with a reputable and insured snow removal company like Twin Cities Fence who has years of experience as well as a wide range of specialized equipment including a low pressure steamer that we use to remove ice dam build up on roofs. Other companies use high pressure sprayers, which can actually do more harm than good when it comes to your shingles.
Interested in Our Ice Dam Prevention Services?
If you’re concerned that you may have ice dams forming on your roof, or you’re just looking to prevent them in the first place, feel free to reach out to the Twin Cities Fence team today. We’ll be happy to come out to your home to provide you with a free estimate.