Ice dams are an unwanted surprise that many Minneapolis / St. Paul MN property owners find themselves dealing with during our nasty Minnesota winters. Ice dams are caused by heated air leaking into unheated attics. This warm air causes a warm area on the roof which in turn causes the snow on the exterior of the roof to melt. The melting snow moves down the roof slope until it reaches the cold overhang, where it refreezes. This process continues over and over again which causes a build up of ice on the roof edge and soon water will pool behind the ice. Once this happens the water will eventually find its way into the attic, ceiling and walls below.
The solution to this problem is to roofing, siding, gutters and windowsroofing, siding, gutters and windows and ensure that the proper amount of ventilation and insulation is present in the attic. Air sealing in the attics may have not been properly completed during the construction of many Minnesota homes, condos, apartments and commercial buildings. Common air sealing problems include the following areas:
-Penetrations in the building envelope for electrical & telecommunications equipment
-Electrical boxes and fan housings
-Lighting fixtures, recessed lights & wire penetrations
-All plumbing and heating penetrations (including chimneys, flue pipes and ducting)
-Interior partition walls
Other factors may play a role in ice dam formation. Complex roof construction including valleys, angles and exposure to sunlight can cause an extensive amount of ice to form in the valley sections of roofs. A substantial amount of snow (more than a foot) on a properly insulated roof combined with varying warm / cold temperatures during the winter season can cause snow melt and ice dams on the eves. To remove the ice from the edge of a roof the use of steam or ice melt is the safest means of removing the ice. The most critical component of preventing ice dams however is to seal the air bypasses providing the warm air into the attic space. Stinson Services provides Minneapolis insulation contractorinstallation services