Still Thinking About Last Winter’s Roof Ice Dams?

Still Thinking About Last Winter’s Roof Ice Dams blog header image
April 28, 2022

Now that the snow has melted and we’re into the spring thaw, Wisconsin homeowners may be looking back on the winter season and thinking about what they want to change for more comfortable and stress-free future winters. This will ring especially true if you noticed ice dams on your roof during the last few months.

Hopefully, those ice dams didn’t cause any significant leaks or water damage. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore them—next winter you might not be so lucky! Today we’re going to explain what causes ice dams, the right way to fix ice damming, and the best methods for ice dam prevention (which have added year-round benefits!).

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams form when warm air inside your home heats your shingles to the point of melting the bottom layer of snow on your roof. That melted snow will run down your roofline until it reaches a colder part of the roof, where it will refreeze. This is often near the roof eave. As this process happens again and again, the ice will build up, forming a dam that prevents water from dripping off the edge of the roofline.

With nowhere for the water to go, water can get underneath the shingles of your roof and enter your house, leading to damage including leaks, water and moisture issues, and even mold growth.

What Causes Ice Dams?

Ice dams are caused by changing roof temperatures—which in turn is caused by poor attic insulation and air sealing. If you don’t have enough attic insulation or the insulation has been installed incorrectly, accidentally moved, or damaged, heat will escape from your home and into your attic, where it will warm the underside of your roof, melting the snow on the other side.

Ice Dam Prevention Comes with Year-Round Benefits!

Once ice dams have formed, they can be very difficult to remove safely (and ice dam removal services are expensive). The smarter solution is to prevent them from forming again with upgraded attic insulation and air sealing services.

Addressing ice dam problems during the off-season doesn’t mean you have to wait a whole year to see the pay-off! This home improvement work will not only help prevent ice dams in the winter, it will also make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient year-round, lowering your heating and cooling costs year-round by minimizing energy waste.

At Wisconsin Home Improvement, our team has more than 35 years of experience helping homeowners in Milwaukee, Muskego, and Fox Point improve their indoor comfort and energy efficiency, including ice dam prevention services. It all starts with a home performance audit, where we’ll conduct a visual inspection and run tests to determine where insulation and air sealing need to be improved in your home. 

Get ahead of next winter’s woes—upgrade your attic insulation and air sealing. Call 262.345.9922 or contact us today to schedule an audit with our team.

Don’t wait until next winter to fix your ice dam problem.

Upgrading your attic insulation will benefit you all year.


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