Winter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Yes, the freezing temperatures are here. The precipitation was a bit late this season but outside our first real blanket of snow covers the top of your home all the way to the ground. It is likely here to stay for a few weeks. The season brings anxiety about frozen gutters, and when you look outside and see the “ice dams” creating those dangerous icicles, now what to do?

What is an ice dam?

When melting snow caused by heat escaping from an attic reaches the eave where it is cold, it refreezes.  This frozen area now acts as a dam to the additional melting snow and it starts to push water under the shingles and ultimately into your home.

Preventing and Correcting Ice Dams in Cedar Rapids

ice damsPrevention:  Remove the snow from your roof.  Several building material wholesalers sell what they call a snow rake.  This tool allows you to work safely on the ground while you pull the snow off your roof. Now this is still quite a strenuous job and should probably be left up to the pros.

Eliminating:  We would recommend that you contact a professional roofing contractor to visit and determine why your home is producing ice dams.  There are several reasons an ice dam could be formed here are a couple: Your home may be lacking insulation in your attic space allowing warm moist air to escape into the attic and out under your roofing material, or there may be a poorly vented attic space.  There are several styles of ventilation that can help reduce these ice dams from forming, your roofing professional should be able to solve these issues.  With either issue, they ultimately are causing the same problem.  Warm air is built up under the roofing system and melting the snow on the exterior.  A perfectly insulated and ventilated attic space should remain within 20 degrees of the exterior temperature.

We do not recommend Cedar Rapids homeowners go about putting up ladders and climbing on their roof in the icy conditions.  For a fee, Tri-County can provide a roof inspection written report with photos.

Contact Tri-County for help with ice dams – or any other roofing project!

Ice Dam Prevention