Ice Dam Removal Services

Ice DamAt the Larson Family of Companies, we are committed to continually assisting our customers with their home maintenance needs. We have the equipment, and the skilled labor force to remove any ice dam issues you may face this winter. If you notice ice dams starting to form on your house, don’t delay.  Contact us today to schedule our ice dam removal services before they leave you with costly repairs.

What is an Ice Dam

Ice dams are the ridge of ice that builds up on the edge of a roof. They are a common wintertime problem for Minnesota residents that can cause costly damage to houses every heating season. The ice is obvious to homeowners, but the causes are not.

What Causes an Ice Dam to Form

Anatomy of an Ice Dam

Anatomy of an Ice Dam (graphic courtesy of University of Minnesota)

Ice dams need three things to form. They obviously need snow, but also need escaping heat to melt the snow, and finally need cold temperatures to refreeze the melted snow. Our snow season in central Minnesota typically will provide 50+ inches of snow, although with as little as 1 to 2 inches of snow on the roof, followed by sub freezing temperatures are all that is necessary for ice dams to form.

The heat to melt the snow comes from warm air inside the house leaking into the attic and warming the roof. The melting snow runs down the roof until it reaches the cold roof edge, where it immediately refreezes. Ice then builds up along this line, forming a dam that can force water back under the shingles, through the sheeting and eventually into the house. The results of ice dams include water stained ceilings and walls, peeling paint, damaged plaster, damaged shingles, and sagging gutters.

Inadequate insulation is the obvious reason why heat leaks into the attic, however, warm air can still leak through pathways and can cut the effectiveness of the insulation by 30 to 70 percent. These pathways are called bypasses. Insulation can slow air movement through the bypass, but cannot stop it.

How to Prevent Ice Dams

Three important steps to help prevent ice dams include:

  1. Insulate your attic. A minimum of R-38 is recommended for our area.
  2. Address any bypass issues. Consult a contractor to inspect for problems. Issues can include chaseways, hatch doors to the attic, dropped ceilings, improperly vented bathroom fans, and other areas that impede into the insulation base of the attic.
  3. Remodel or repair projects. A new roof or siding offer excellent opportunities to upgrade insulation.

Remember, the most effective ways to deal with ice dams is to prevent them from forming in the first place.

However, if you are burdened by problematic ice dams, consider a temporary fix by steaming the roof area clear. Once again, this is only a temporary fix, but, will eliminate any more water intrusion problems on your roof.


Larson Builders