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Simple Solutions To Prevent Ice Dam Formation In Minneapolis Roofing Systems

By Expert Author: Eulalia Symonds

Ice dams can be a pain to fix once they happen. Solid ice that lines the eaves of the roof can keep the snow or water from shedding off the roof; as soon as they melt, it'll be raining inside your home. Even with effective solutions in the market, nothing prevents ice dams better than stopping their formation in the first place.

Minneapolis has had its share of ice dams over the years, given its northerly climate. With no way for snow to shed, roofs suffer from structural stress and, eventually, break and collapse (the same can be said for water). Even the most resilient of roofing in Minneapolis aren't safe from ice dam formation. The key to prevention is proper ventilation; keep air moving at all times, even in under-zero conditions.

Ice dams, for the record, are results of temperature differences between the house interior—namely, the attic—and the outside environment. Snow melts at the warmer surface of the roof, but once the water reaches the cooler surface, it freezes and forms an ice dam. The warm surface signifies heat loss from the house, causing water to pool and look for another outlet.

Ken Hellevang, an engineer with the North Dakota State University Extension Service, says homes in the northern climates need at least 15 inches of insulation. Despite the adequate insulation in place, some heat loss may still occur. Soffit and ridge vents can help move warm air out of the attic to reduce the temperature of the roof surface, keeping it cool throughout the winter.

Preventing ice dams by way of removing snow, says Hellevang, is also an ideal solution; but do it with extreme caution. Instead of getting on the roof, get a roof rake to gently remove the blanket of snow on the roof. Remove the snow when there's a break in the blizzard so that your roof will be ready for the next round. Remember, ice belongs to your fridge, not your roof.

You can get more tips on how to prevent ice dams with simple solutions at the NDSU Extension site at ag.ndsu.edu. If you need help in dealing with ice dams and the like, professional Minneapolis roofing contractors are just a call away.

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