If you have not had water leaking into your home yet this winter consider yourself lucky. Many of us have been plagued by ice dams and roof leaks. They are worse than ever this year because of the heavy snow we got in December that never melted, and is mostly still sitting on the roof. We started taking on water on Christmas day and have been having problems ever since. We have lived in the same house for many years and have never had problems with a leaky roof.
Last week we had an ice dam and some snow removed from one of the roofs. It stopped the water from coming in but not before a window and a ceiling were damaged.
The dams are caused by melting snow on the roof and heat leaking out from the house. The water pools on the roof because the ice dam prevents it from rolling off the roof . . hence the term ‘dam’. It does not matter how new your roof is you can still take on water.
Having ice dams removed costs between $300 and $500 dollars an hour. Companies that offer ice dam removal are very busy and some are hiring additional help.
The safest way to have them removed is by using steam. There don’t seem to be any snow rakes left in the Twin Cites. If there were I would also recommend using one to remove snow from the roof to prevent ice dams from forming. It isn’t just snow on the roof that causes ice dams. The University of Minnesota Extension web site has some great information about what causes ice dams and how to prevent them.