Technical Papers

Ice Dam Prevention and SolutionTips

Monday, January 29th, 2018 by Suzie Elliott






Ice Dams


NMC Exteriors and Remodeling has been receiving calls recently from Homeowners in cities such as Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Inver Grove Heights and Lakeville, regarding leaking roofs, and ice dam issues.  With the snow and the freeze-thaw cycle, that we’ve been experiencing in recent weeks, ice dams are not an uncommon sight here in frigid Minnesota. They are, however, an unwelcome sight. Unfortunately, these giant icicles hanging from the eaves are quite dangerous to people walking underneath, as well as a sign of serious problems to come with your roof and/or attic.

Thankfully, NMC Exteriors & Remodeling has professional advice on how to prevent the formation of ice dams or to reduce the damage after they have formed.

For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, the outside temperature must be below freezing, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above freezing while lower surfaces remain below freezing. Under these conditions, the snow on the higher portion of your roof will melt, causing water to flow down to the eaves where it refreezes forming an ice dam. The dam grows in size as it is fed by the melting snow above it.

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles, where it will eventually drip into your home’s attic insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eaves. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off, damaging anything it falls into, including people, pets, cars and other property. If the roof sheathing remains wet in this environment, mildew and/or mold can grow, which can later cause rot.

Preventing ice dams begins at the top – your roof. The roof should have an adequate pitch with minimal valleys to prevent heavy snow buildup. If you’re considering a new roof, you may want to consider metal roofing materials or cool roofing materials, as these are your safest bet for preventing ice dams. Venting is also important as this allows a constant flow of cold air, therefore, preventing the snow from melting and causing problems.

For more information on ice dams or your roofing, siding, window or gutter needs for 2018 call NMC Exteriors & Remodeling at 763-260-8537 and schedule a free, no-obligation inspection and consultation or visit our website at


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NMC Exteriors & Remodeling
14505 21st Ave N Suite 226
Plymouth, MN 55447