Safely Battling Ice Dams in Minnesota and Wisconsin
January 25, 2024

We might have been having a warmer winter than usual here in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and there hasn’t been much snowfall to speak of. While many may welcome this respite from the bone-chilling cold, and blizzardy months, it comes with its own set of challenges. In such unseasonably mild winters, the threat of ice dams forming on your roofs can catch homeowners off guard. Ice dams can still be a common and troublesome issue, even in the absence of heavy snow. We understand that weather conditions can be unpredictable, and we are here to help you combat ice dams safely and effectively.

Ice dams typically form when snow on your roof melts, runs down to the edge, and refreezes, however, when it rains in cold wintery conditions, the rainwater can flow down to the edge of the roof as well. Over time, this process can create a barrier of ice that prevents further runoff, causing water to back up and potentially infiltrate your home. To address this issue effectively, it’s crucial to use the right equipment and techniques.

To protect your asphalt roofing material, it’s essential to use an ice dam removal tool with a hot enough water temperature. The goal is to change the water output consistency from harsh water droplets to a gentle, directed cloud of steam. Typically, this transformation occurs when the water temperature reaches around 240°F-250°F. However, it’s important to note that this temperature can vary based on factors such as elevation, humidity, and outdoor temperature.

Weathersafe takes pride in using a specialty steamer knows as the Artic Steamer for ice dam removal. This powerful equipment is designed with specific accessories that direct steam effectively and safely to melt ice on asphalt roofing material. The Artic Steamer relies on high temperatures to produce steam and low pressure to ensure that your roof remains undamaged during the process.

Pressure washers, even with their pressure turned down or heat turned up, are not adequate for protecting your roof. Pressure washers can emit harsh pressure that can remove the granules from your shingles. The granule loss exposes your roofing system to the sun’s UV rays, which can lead to premature deterioration.

Ice dams can pose a significant threat to your home’s roofing and siding, but with the right equipment and techniques, they can be safely and effectively removed. Even though we have had minimal snowfall and more rain than usual, the conditions have been atypical for Minnesota and Wisconsin. While the absence of snow may be a relief in some ways, it also means that the risk of ice dams can be even more unexpected. Don’t wait until it’s too late; contact us today to keep your home protected throughout the season.


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