Home Improvement

Answers To Questions About Ice Dam Formation


Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement quandaries addressed by calling or texting 651-461-9226.  Here’s the must-know information our COO, Andy Lindus shared on 1.14.23.  

Midwestern homeowners often have questions about ice dam removal, diagnosis, and prevention.  Ice dams are problematic because they can damage the following areas in your home:

To set the record straight, we’ve put together a list of common questions and answers about ice dams.

How Does An Ice Dam Formation Take Place?

Inconsistent roof surface temperatures are the primary cause of ice dams. Here’s how this scenario can occur:

Causes Of Ice Dams

How Can I Tell If I Have An Ice Dam At My House?

Ice dams can be hard to see from the ground. Here are a few ice dam signs:

  • Wet attic insulation
  • Gutters that cannot drain
  • Snow melting on the peak of the roof, but not the sides
  • Exterior walls with ice formation
  • Icicles on the edge of your roof

ice dam

Do I Have To Get All New Insulation If I Have Ice Dams?

 Some ice dams lead to wet insulation and attic mold growth.  In this case, new house insulation is necessary.  In other cases, tweaks to ventilation and attic air sealing can occur. It’s important to know that something as simple as a bath fan venting into the attic can cause ice dam formation.

Can I Have Ice Formation On My House Even If My Insulation And Ventilation Are Adequate?

Roof icicles can happen as part of Wisconsin and Minnesota’s freeze/thaw cycle.  It’s important to know that not every ice dam has icicles.  In the same way, roof icicles, do not always signal an ice dam.

Bonus Read: Ice Dam vs Icicles on Your Roof

ice dam

What Is The Best Ice Dam Prevention?

Ice dam prevention methods should take into consideration your unique home. Many home insulation services offer complimentary heat map testing. This allows the insulation contractor to investigate where your home is losing energy. Insulation contractor services have tools such as blower doors and infrared imaging. These tools can identify needed upgrades to insulation, ventilation, and attic air seal sealing.

FLIR image

Your Ice Dam & Home Insulation Experts

Since 1979, we’ve helped Wisconsin and Minnesota homeowners with ice dams.  We offer diagnostic testing that determines the origin of ice dams.  With this information, we help create more comfortable and energy efficient homes.  All insulation projects come with a lifetime workmanship guarantee.  Contact us today if you have questions or to get a complimentary estimate.     

Listen To The Entire Ice Dam Prevention Show:


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