As a Twin Cities homeowner, you must keep a close eye on the exterior of your house throughout winter to prevent snow- and ice-related damage. And while you might enjoy the wintertime aesthetic of icicles dangling from your eaves, those icicles can indicate a serious problem is developing on your roof: an ice dam.

What’s so problematic about ice dams? And more importantly, what can happen if you don’t tend to prompt ice dam removal? Read on to find out.

What’s Wrong With Ice Dams?

Ice dams form when heat from within your home rises into your attic and warms the surface of your roof. That warmth melts any snow sitting on top of the roof, and as the snow melts, water flows toward the eaves, where it should drain into your gutters. But on many homes, that water never makes it into the gutters because the roof isn’t a uniform temperature. 

When the attic heats up unevenly (which is common) the center portion of the roof ends up being warmer than the edges. As the melting snow travels toward the eaves of the roof (where it’s far colder than in the center), that water refreezes and forms the beginnings of an ice dam.

As this process repeats itself over time, a thick sheet of ice forms along the edges of the roof. When the mass of ice grows large enough, it prevents additional snowmelt from reaching the edge of the roof. Instead of refreezing, that melted snow (water) pools up behind the ice dam, where it can seep beneath the shingles and cause serious problems.

Risks of Neglecting Prompt Ice Dam Removal

So what might happen if you allow those thick sheets of ice to sit on your roof? Spoiler alert: nothing good will come of it. Considerable amounts of ice and snow sitting atop your roof can cause several types of home damage, including:

1.      Condensation in your attic. Warm air from inside your home naturally rises into your attic. When that warm air meets the freezing underside of the roof, water vapor (humidity) within the air will change state, thereby creating condensation. Any amount of moisture in the attic can cause mold, mildew, and framing deterioration.

2.      Mold and mildew growth. If pooling water seeps beneath the surface of your shingles and you fail to notice it, your insulation and roof framing could develop mold and mildew, which can cause health problems and further roof damage.

3.      Water damage to ceilings and walls. Neglecting ice dam removal can, in a worst-case scenario, result in serious roof leaks that cause water damage to your ceilings and walls.

4.      Roof rot. When water is allowed to sit on the wood decking of your roof for a significant amount of time, it can saturate the wood. When temperatures begin to rise in spring, that saturated wood can begin to rot, and if you don’t catch the problem in time, portions of your roof may begin to experience considerable deterioration.

5.      Gutter damage. If your home has gutters, heavy icicles and sheets of ice can easily detach sections of the gutters from the roof. 

Worried your home might develop ice dams this winter? Check out the four simple things you can do to prevent ice dams from forming.

Need Ice Dam Removal in the Twin Cities? Contact Kiser Construction

If your roof accumulates a little too much ice this winter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Kiser Construction to schedule professional ice dam removal service. Our contractors are fully licensed and insured and will ensure your roof is completely free of damaging ice and snow. We also specialize in roof repairs, so if you’ve noticed a roof leak, we can restore your roof, too.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help, feel free to call our Elk River, MN, office today at 763-633-2010 or connect with us online, and we’ll get back to you promptly.