Nov 13, 2014

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 Fix:

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.

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"We would like to acknowledge the exceptional customer service we have received from your liaison, Joel Sunde. Joel has gone above and beyond all expectations to assist us in resolving our repeated issues with ice dams and roofing. He always responds promptly to our questions and concerns by phone, text, email, or an in-person visit, if needed. Joel is an excellent example of what a true customer liaison should be, You are fortunate to have him on the Lindus team."-Joe & Marcia B.

Joe & Marcia B.
St. Paul, MN
January 13, 2021

"They sprayed foam in my 110-year-old attic to provide a vapor barrier and then added cellulose over the top.  My contacts with them were always professional and courteous.  They cared about keeping me happy.  I didn't hire them because they are a bargain, but because they do quality work!"

Harold F.
Minneapolis, MN
November 6, 2020

"You were so patient and accommodating with all of our questions. The attention to detail by everyone was so good to see and made us confident we had made the right choice. We are happy and satisfied with all the work.  Now we hope to see substantial savings on our heating and air conditioning." 

Jim P.
St. Paul, MN
May 2, 2020

"We appreciate the professionalism that every team that visited showed us and our house.  Thank you very much."

Ryan F.
Lakeville, MN
April 3, 2020

"Lindus was not the cheapest bidder. But they were upfront about what needed to be done. They showed up when they said they would. They responded to emails and voicemails. They fixed problems and drove the project home. Was really grateful for the honesty, the integrity, and the attention to detail."

Patrick M.
St. Paul, MN
February 7, 2020

"I can’t rave enough about the customer service! I expressed my curiosity of an estimate.  Dylan made the process very explainable and broke it down to me in levels of importance first and what we need to do in the future.  I am looking forward to doing my home improvement w/ a business that understands my needs and is willing to work with me.  Thanks Lindus Construction!"  

Jess H.
Woodville, WI
January 23, 2020
Complimentary Estimates on LeafGuard® Brand Gutters and GAF Asphalt Shingles We are also offering a complimentary heat map analysis with insulation estimates through July 2022.
Some restrictions may apply. Call for details.