Ice Dams: How They Form on Your Roof and How to Remove Them

Sep 28, 2020

Ice Damn Removal

Cold temps and regular snowfall are just around the corner in the Midwest. As a homeowner, it’s time to find your snow shovel and prepare yourself for potential exterior damage and repairs unique to the winter months.

Ice dams—heavy masses of ice that form on the lower edge of rooflines—can wreak havoc on your roof, gutters, interior drywall and more. Learn why damage from ice dams can occur and how professional ice dam removal matters.

How Ice Dams Form

It may seem coincidental that some homeowners need to invest in regular ice dam removal while others do not. Attic conditions are actually the root cause for pesky ice dams. Damage from ice dams begins when your attic or underside of the roof deck is above the freezing point.

As outside temps rise and snow melts on the roof, water runs down toward the overhang where it refreezes. The accumulating ice stops further snow melt from flowing off the roof, where it builds under your shingles and can leak into your roof sheathing, attic, insulation and even your living space.

Long icicles are often a sign of needed ice dam removal. Heavy snowstorms can also trigger or worsen ice dams as the fresh snow holds in warmth beneath the snow and causes melting.

Damage from Ice Dams

Ice dam removal and ice dam repair are important wintertime maintenance activities because of the potential long-term structural impact of ice dams to your home. 

Damage from ice dams can include:

  • Broken gutters
  • Loose shingles
  • Interior water damage like peeling paint, warped floors and stained ceilings
  • Soggy attic insulation, which can lead to mold and mildew

Since large ice dams are very heavy, they can also be a safety hazard for you and your family members on the ground.

Safe Ice Dam Removal

DIY homeowners may want to tackle ice dam removal themselves but having a trusted professional remove ice dams or handle ice dam repair is always the best option. Weathersafe Restoration offers safe and effective ice dam removal that protects your roof and prevents water damage.

Our expert team uses a specialty steamer and accessories to direct the steam to the ice dams and safely melt the ice. The steamer uses high temperatures combined with low pressure to avoid damage to your roof.

Pressure washers can remove shingle granules and deteriorate your roof long before the end of its lifecycle. You might see curling or deteriorated shingles years after your attempt at ice dam removal. Stay away from guns with a trigger handle and spray nozzles that are yellow, red, green or white.

Damage from ice dams can also mean an insurance claim to help fund ice dam repairs. Weathersafe Restoration will help guide you through the claims process to ensure you receive fair and timely compensation.

When the snow starts to fly, remember that our team provides free consultations for Wisconsin and Minnesota ice dam removal and other exterior storm repairs to help maintain your home for decades to come.