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Roof Inspection ice dam

Minnesota Ice Dams On Roof Inspection

Spring is here! Almost…maybe. As temperatures warm, the ice that has built up on your roof will begin to melt. Great- (you may think), until a river of water starts draining in through the vents in your roof -then ceiling , into your light fixtures, bath fans, and walls.

MN home inspector

Gutter filled with ice image taken during an MBI home inspection

Ice dams on Minnesota roofs are worse in 2014 than they have been in years. The swing in temperatures from freezing to melting (mostly freezing….brrr) this winter has caused beautiful ice sculptures on, and around roof lines, and through holes in  gutters. Ice Dams were a common issue found in most of the roof inspections completed this year.

We did love the occasional 30+ degrees one or two days this winter, -but then by nightfall it was below zero again (which we didn’t love so much). Well those mood lifting days created shingle lifting ice on the upper layers, and lower layers of our roof.

Poor attic insulation also allows $ heat to rise through attic accesses, and  through your ceiling in general. Unintentional warming of the attic not only increases your energy bill, keeps the critters in the attic comfortable, but also is the main contributor to the formation of the ice dams. The snow on the upper roof melts and drains down to the colder lower roof-and now the snow melt freezes.

In hindsight, now we understand why raking the snow off the roof, as it falls, is an important homeowner’s  maintenance tip, No snow to melt =no ice to form dams.

Thor Anderson, a MN ice dam removal contractor (www.thorandersoncontracting.com ) said his volume of calls for service were so great that he requested the callers to “please text an address to his phone”.  If he was in the area, he’d be there as soon as possible. Within a few hours time, he had received 35 texts and addresses!

So now what? There are plenty of DIY removal tips, I don’t suggest but interesting link to Hack Methods of Ice Dam Removal – but beware of messing up your possible insurance policy pay-out. Visit Ice Dam Guys for insurance tips, and more detailed information on your second job- ice dams and home ownership.

Note: Daylight Savings time is this Sunday March 9th!


Victoria Morris

Minnesota Building and Home Inspector since 2001