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Nov 13, 2014
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The Real Truth About Ice Dams and How to Get Rid of Them Forever!

We get a lot of calls during the winter from people having issues with ice dams that are in dire need of a remedy. A lot of times people think that their ice dams are caused by their gutters, but the real truth, they are not.  Because of where they form, it’s understandable to why one would assume they are evidence of faulty gutters.

Knowledge is power and understanding the real reason why and how ice dams form is the first step to banishing them from your home forever. Ice dams compromise the integrity of your home because they can tear off your gutters, loosen your shingles and worst case scenario, cause water to back up and start pouring into your home causing thousands of dollars in damage. The first thing that you need to know is how ice dams occur and are formed.ice dam

The Life Cycle of an Ice Dam:

  • They begin inside your house when the heated air leaks up into your unheated attic
  • When this warm air leaks into your unheated attic, it creates warm areas on your roof
  • These warm areas cause the snow to melt which moves down the slope of your roof
  • Once it reaches your cold overhangs, it refreezes
  • This process continues which causes the ice to build up along your eaves causing the ice dam
  • The ice dam will eventually cause water to back up under your shingles and into your home

Now that you know how an ice dam is really formed, how do you fix this issue? There are many ways to temporarily fix your issue, but there is only one fix that will eradicate the issue for good.

Temporary Ice Dam Fixes:

Heat Tape

Many uninformed homeowners believe that “heat tape” or “heat coil” is the be-all-end-all when it comes to getting rid of ice dam problems. WRONG! They are a Band-Aid solution. Heating cables will not clear your entire eave. You will more than likely still see ice buildup and icicle formations when installing this type of product. Heating cables merely melt the snow.

Break it Off

Some novices think that getting on a ladder and chipping away at an ice dam will do the trick. Think again! Not only could you wreck your gutters, you can also damage your roof, voiding its manufacturer’s warranty.

Steaming

Steaming takes regular tap water and heats it up to 300 degrees. The steam is forced through a delivery hose and wand where it is focused into a thin, low-pressure column used to cut through ice. Just another Band-Aid fix.

Permanent Fix

The only true solution to fixing your ice dam problem is to have diagnostic testing such as, a heat map analysis, infrared imaging, and a home performance test done at your home to see where the air leaks are. This will allow you to know where you are lacking insulation in your home. Adding insulation in tandem with attic air sealing will create a barrier to prevent heat from escaping from your roof which results in ice dams.  Be sure to properly vet potential insulation contractors so that the pro you’re working with fully addresses the issues you’re experiencing.

Learn More About Home Performance Testing:

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"Thanks again for the great job on the spray foam."

Todd B.
Plymouth, MN
August 26, 2022

"Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty to help me out.  Your expertise made all the difference in helping me resolve my house projects!"

Patricia M.
Bloomington, MN
August 19, 2022

“Thank you to the entire team for the outstanding job on the insulation job of my 100-year-old home!  Eric took the time to walk me through the entire process and even came back a second time to sort out venting questions.  Project manager, Randall, made sure the insulation installed met your quality standards.  Every member of your team worked very hard and didn’t end their day until the job was done right.  I look forward to energy savings and no critters in my attic!”

Pat M.
Bloomington, MN
July 26, 2022

We used Lindus for a rather complicated attic re-insulation project. They are highly competent and do great work!

Leon P.
White Bear Lake, MN
July 16, 2022

"Jason and the insulating crew did a great job. I told Jason it looked like nothing was done when he finished cleaning, which is a very good thing.  The insulating crew did have a difficult time working under the bay window. They usually hold their spray gun about 2 ft. away from the surface. In our location, they only had a foot at the most. So, there was a lot of blowback, clean-up, and additional layers to get the final result."

Jerry P.
Eden Prairie, MN
June 16, 2022

"On two occasions, Randall was at my house involving insulation issues.  He knows the business, is easy to work with, and I think he is a great asset to your company."

Mary W.
Maple Grove, MN
May 2, 2022
50% Off Installation Labor on LeafGuard® Brand Gutters, GAF Asphalt Shingles, & Infinity® From Marvin Windows. We Are Also Offering A Complimentary Heat Map Analysis With Insulation Estimates Through November 30th.
Some restrictions may apply. Call for details.
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