It’s ice dam season – again

We have been posting on this for quite some time and it’s worthy of mentioning again.  It’s ice dam season once again.  If you live in Wisconsin, or at least the midwest, you’re familiar with heavy snow and ice dams forming on your roof.  Ice and snow can cause many different issues during the winter but ice dams can cause quite a few problems that you don’t notice right away.   Homeowners often fall victim to the most common solutions to ice dams that have been present for decades – including zig-zag heated cables for modern gutters. Unfortunately, these solutions may not be the best and homeowners can end up investing a lot of time and money in a product only to find that ice dams come back year after year.

It’s not rocket science how ice dams form and the most obvious culprit is heat escaping your home through the roof.  The sun and roof heat melts the snow on the roof and then water drips down into the gutters where it sits and slowly starts to build up.  The water doesn’t actually run fast enough to leave the gutters and when it gets cold again at night and the water freezes again and builds up a little more.  This process is repeated for the entire winter and after a few short weeks, you have a serious ice dam on your hands.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven past buildings and homes that have beautiful but giant ice dams forming along the gutters and lower roofline.  It’s almost a geological history lesson of the ice age.

So, what do we do about this ever constant problem?  Do you try gutter heaters or the zig-zag roof heaters you often see?  Sometimes they work but they often fail.  If you are experiencing ice dams, it may be a ventilation and insulation issue within your home.  Heated gutters are extremely ineffective at fighting against ice dams in cold and snowy climates. Gutter heaters will only be able to create a small melted tunnel around an immediate area. Heated cables will simply not be able to handle massive amounts of snow.

The solution is to add more insulation in your attic to prevent heat loss and the cycle of drips that will eventually lead to ice dams. There’s another solution and that is to get a ladder and shovel the roof about three feet from the gutter but we do not recommend this.  Instead, you should please call or contact us to come out and offer a solution for you.  We have the equipment and the expertise you can depend on the get rid of those pesky ice dams.  We’re happy to help.