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The Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin are areas that receive high volumes of snow and ice. This can leave homeowners with lots of questions about how to maintain their houses. Here’s our expert guide on addressing snow and ice on roofing and gutters.
Can Snow Collapse A Roof?
It’s very rare that the weight of snow can cause a roof installation to collapse. In the rare instances where a roof does collapse in the winter, ice dams and subpar roof trusses are often to blame.
How To Use A Roof Rake To Remove Snow
A roof rake for snow can clear excess snow from the top of your home. When using a snow roof rake, extend it as high as you can reach. It’s important to only have light contact with your shingles. This avoids damage to your roof installation.
Can Ice Dams Cause Roof Damage?
There are many reasons ice dams occur. They can cause damage to your shingles, gutters, attic insulation, and drywall.
How To Remove Ice From A Roof
The best way to remove ice dams from your roof is through low pressure steaming. This method separates the ice from the roof without damaging the roof’s shingles. Only professionals with training should attempt to steam a roof. It is dangerous and time-consuming. A chisel should never be used to remove ice from a roof because it will damage the shingles.
Ice melt roof pucks are a cost-effective way to remove an ice dam on a roof. While they melt ice from the roof by creating a channel for water to exit, ice melt roof pucks can often cause damage. That’s because they are corrosive and can damage aluminum.
Are Icicles On A Roof Bad?
Icicles, like ice dams, need cold weather, snow, and warmth to cause the snow to melt. After melted water meets the roof’s eave, it freezes. Icicles can signal ice dams, but not all ice dams have icicles.
The placement of ice icicles on a roof can often share whether they are dangerous. An icicle on the northside of the roof often means there is attic heat loss happening. If the icicles from the roof are on the home’s southside, it may only be a remnant of the normal freeze/thaw cycle because this area of the home receives more sunlight.
Fast Facts About Ice And Gutters
With open style gutters, ice will get caught in the trough and then back up onto the roof.
On hooded gutter systems, the icicles will hang down from the gutters. Homeowners that have LeafGuard® Gutters, appreciate that the system’s warranty offers a free replacement if the gutters pull loose or are damaged by snow ice.
Long-Term Fixes For Icicles & Ice Dams
Inconsistent roof temperatures are the primary cause of icicle and ice dam formation. A reputable contractor can do a heat map analysis to understand where a room is losing energy. They often use tools like infrared imaging and blower doors. This allows them to propose long term solutions that can include upgrades to:
These strategies can help with icicle and ice dam prevention on roofing and gutters.