Building snowmen, drinking hot cocoa, downhill skiing at Powder Ridge Ski Area, and snowshoeing are all great things to do while in St Cloud Minnesota when the temperatures drop. Enjoying the season of white and ice can be thrilling for many. 

Your home can take a beating during the winter months though. All that snow, ice, melting, and refreezing can cause damage to your roofing system. How do you know if there are problems with your roof? 

One indication is icicles. They are beautiful to look at when the sun glistens off of them, but they are an indication of a potential ice dam and more serious issues. Icicles are a cone-shaped piece of ice hanging off your roof’s gutter. Ice dams are slightly different, but are created similarly 

Ice Dams. Central Minnesota

What Are Ice Dams?

Now that we have determined what an icicle is, let’s explore an ice dam. Ice dams are a buildup of ice toward the edge of your roof. As the temperature of your roof changes, the melting water refreezes and can create blocks of ice. This ice buildup prevents water from flowing successfully to your gutter system and the downspouts. It then creates a dam of ice on your roof. 

Why Do Ice Dams Occur? 

As mentioned above, temperature changes can create ice dams. This temperature change can occur in one of three ways. 

  • Improper Insulation – Without proper insulation, heat can escape from the attic through the roofing system, warming up the area. 
  • Chimney, dryer vent, and plumbing stacks – When these home features are on the roof, the heat released from them causes temperature changes.
  • Rapid Temperature Changes  – This can occur during the duration of the winter season when temperatures fluctuate rapidly. Some refer to this as the “January Thaw” when the outside temperatures increase in relation to the remainder of the season, and the snow melts away. Of course, this “January Thaw” is short-lived, and the temperatures dip back down to normalcy. 

How Can I Prevent Ice Dams?

There are several steps you can take to keep ice dams away. 

Increase the Amount of Insulation

Have an inspection done of your insulation and add more if you are lacking. Not only will this easy fix assist with limiting the number of ice dams, but it will also help to keep your energy bills lower. Since less heat is escaping, it will take less to keep it comfortable. 

Remove the Excess Snow

 A snow rake is useful for removing excess snow from your single-story rooftop. This tool is an aluminum scraper on a telescoping pole at a right angle. It will allow the user to reach high against the roof, and gently pull the excess snow off. This can be a dangerous task, so please do so with great caution. Never attempt to use a snow rake while on a ladder. Asphalt shingles may become brittle in the chilly weather, so gently pull the snow off the surface, otherwise, you could create more damage. 

Install Heat Cables

Heat cables are high-resistance wires that you mount on the edge of the roof in a zigzag pattern and plug into a safe GFCI receptacle. These cables do best when installed during the autumn season and are in place, prepared to do their job when winter arrives. 

Ice Dams. Central Minnesota

Clean Out the Gutter System

Perhaps the reason for the ice dam is that something is clogging your gutters. Without proper flowage, the water will only collect and freeze. Perhaps leaves, debris, a bird nest, or some other items have cluttered up the system. Carefully climb up a ladder, with assistance, and safely clean them out. Once the water begins to melt, it will have a place to go.

Where can one go for assistance with ice dams? Look no further than Rival Roofing In Saint Cloud! We have been servicing the area for over ten years, with customer service and workmanship that’s second to none. We stand behind our work and guarantee affordable solutions delivered by professional installers that you can depend on. 

Call today to book your free roof inspection! Hire a team of roofing experts you can trust!