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Category Archives: Ice Dams

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams can result in damage to property, injuries, and fatalities, if not taken seriously. Homeowners in the Twin Cities often ignore ice dams or attempt to tackle the problem without professional help. It is important to understand what an ice dam is and how they are caused. Then they need to be removed safely.

Ice Dams Defined

An ice dam – unsurprisingly – is an ice barrier that builds up on the edge of your roof. When snow begins to melt, turning into sludge and water, it has no way of draining off the roof. With nowhere for the water to go, it keeps building up behind the dam and eventually begins to penetrate your home. Damage to insulation, walls, ceilings and anywhere water touches is a very real possibility if you have an unchecked ice dam.

Ice Dam Causes

The heat loss from your home plays a large part in helping an ice dam form. Other factors include the temperature outside and the amount of snowfall. The temperature on the upper surface of the roof becoming high enough to melt snow while the lower surface is cold enough to freeze the water as it begins to roll off the roof is two necessary factors in the formation of an ice dam. These factors combined with an outside temperature of below 32 degrees, and a ridge of ice forms. Any water runoff is trapped behind the dam, and that is when your problems really begin.

The dam will continue to grow as runoff frees and adds to the mass of the ridge. The sections of the roof that are above 32 degrees will remain unaffected by water freezing but will feed the ice dam when the snow melts. In weather where heavy or continuous snowfall is expected, homeowners are more likely to see ice dams later, in the thaw, resulting in the upper roof surface rising about 32 while the lower surface is closer to the outside temperature of below 32 degrees.

If you have an ice dam forming on your roof, do not delay in contacting Roof to Deck, to prevent damage from the resulting trapped water.

The Unseen Damage Caused by Ice Dams

When you ignore ice dams because you don’t see obvious signs of damage, you are running the risk of incurring tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. There are many factors that may impact the level of damage you are likely to experience.

The current state of your roof, the amount of heating you use, and the weather conditions where you live are just some of the things you need to take into account. When all things are considered, RTD Ice Dam Removal is the only way to ensure that you don’t end up in unnecessary debt.

Moisture Infiltration

No matter how tightly you may think your roof shingles are sealed, they are not designed to be waterproof. When an ice dam is left untreated, water will begin to seep into your roof space and cause moisture damage. The process can happen so slowly that it is often difficult to detect, leaving homeowners with a false sense of security.

The weight of ice on your roof is also a concern as it causes sagging and compromises what little protection you do have from moisture infiltration. It doesn’t make sense to take chances with the structural integrity of your home when you can have an ice dam removed professionally at relatively low cost.

Mold Build-Up

Mold is a very simple organism which doesn’t need much to help it proliferate. In fact, all that mold requires to thrive is moist conditions. The moisture that seeps into your roof space is more than enough to provide a breeding ground for mold. You may not see it, but this destructive organism could be multiplying inside your walls.

Your home and health are at risk from exposure to mold. At high enough levels, mold is toxic and can affect people with a range of health complications, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and asthma. If you or a family member has noticed an increase in symptoms, it may indicate that you have toxic levels of mold somewhere in your home.

If you need an ice dam removed from your roof, RTD Ice Dam Removal is here to help. Call us at (877) 687-3639 for a professional removal service that won’t damage your roof.

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When Shoveling Your Roof Can Cause Bigger Ice Dam Problems

As a Minnesota homeowner, you are likely to understand the basics of ice dam problems. It only takes one winter of owning a home in our cold climate to become aware of issues that can occur from ice dams. One preventive method is trying to reduce the amount of snow on your roof through shoveling or raking your roof. While this can be effective, it can also have its own hazards. Not only can it be risky in terms of injury, it can create bigger ice dam problems in the form of a double dam.

What Is a Double Dam?

The typical ice dam occurs at the edge of the roof at the eave. The snow on the roof melts slightly, then refreezes, creating the ice dam. While this can cause many issues and needs removal, it is limited to a small portion of the roof. A more precarious situation is when a double dam occurs, creating two ice dams on your roof over a larger portion.

Often when a homeowner shovels or rakes their roof to remove snow, not all the snow can be reached. Using a roof rake from the edge of the roof may only remove the snow on the lower portion. When this is done, there can still be snow left on the higher level, creating a possibility of a double dam. As the snow melts at the higher level, the water trickles down over the cleared portion of the roof, freezing into a sheet of ice. A dam can form at the edge of the snow higher on the roof, with the thinner layer spreading to the eave. Another typical ice dam can form at the eave, creating the double dam. Now there are two areas of pressure that can cause leaks and damage, plus a larger area of ice that needs removal.

Although it may sound odd, removing only some of the snow on your roof through shoveling or raking can cause worse issues than removing none. At least the ice dams that form will only be in one place, making them quicker and easier to remove.

Our team at RTD Ice Dam Removal can quickly and safely remove all types of ice dams, protecting your home from further damage. Call us at (877) 687-3639 if you have ice dam issues in the Twin Cities area, and let us provide you with efficient and effective relief from your roof snow and ice problems.

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Why Steam is Best for Ice Dam Removal

When it comes to removing ice dams from roofs, eaves, and gutters, many methods have been tried. Chipping away at the ice dam with a hammer or hatchet, using a hair blow dryer, sledgehammers, and even chainsaws have been used to break down the accumulated ice. These methods can be time-consuming, dangerous, and cause damage to the home. Professional steam removal is the best way to safely remove ice dams, outperforming any other method.


Benefits of Steam for Ice Dam Removal

For removing ice dams, you want a method that is quick and safe, which is what our pressure steamers provide. We use steam over low pressure, which quickly melts the ice, allowing it to be removed from the roof, eaves, and gutters. Our pressure steamer uses less water and pressure than other hot water pressure washers used by some professional ice dam removal companies. Steam not only saves time, it saves money. The quicker the job can be completed, the less labor is needed. Plus, no one wants to have workers around their home any longer than necessary.

The second important benefit of steam is safety. Chipping, sawing, and even pressure washing away an ice dam can damage the roof and home. In freezing temperatures, the materials on a home are brittle and easily damage. High-pressured water or chipping with a chisel can ruin shingles or fascia boards on the home. Steam puts no pressure on the materials under the ice dams, only melting it away with heat. When performed by a trained professional, it can be the most effective and safe way to eliminate ice dams.

If you need an ice dam removed from your home or business, contact our team at RTD Ice Dam Removal. Our experienced team only uses steam for our professional ice removal services, saving you time and money, while protecting your investment in your home. Contact us at (877) 687-3639 when you need fast, effective ice dam removal in the Twin Cities.

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Icicles: The Beautiful Menace

Each winter, homes are adorned with lights impersonating icicles. Holiday cards feature cozy cabins alight in the winter evening with moonlight glinting off the icicles. As charming and beautiful as these icons of winter are, if you have them on your house or building, they could indicate a serious problem.

What Icicles Portend

When icicles hang from the roof of a building, be it a home, business, or high-rise, it means heat is being lost through the roof of the structure. This causes the snow on the roof to melt. The water from the melted snow flows down to the eves where it’s colder. If the temperature is cold enough, this water freezes along the edges of the eves and as the water drips from the roof, it freezes, and icicles are formed.

Icicles are very picturesque, and for the most part, do not pose a danger. Depending on how high up they are, they could prove to be a problem when they fall. However, there is another problem hat icicles point to that needs to be addressed.

The Dreaded Ice Dam

At the same time icicles are being formed, a ridge of ice is building up along the eves. This buildup of ice creates an ice dam. The thing about ice dams is they can form with or without the icicles. If you see icicles, you definitely want to check to see if an ice dam is forming. However, it is always a good idea to keep the snow cleared off your roof as much as possible so you won’t get the ice buildup. When there is a lot of snow and thawing happening, the chances for ice dams increases.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Keeping your roof in good shape throughout the year is important, but even more so in winter. Eliminating and preventing ice dams will save you time and money. Ice dams are preventable, and because of this, some insurance companies will not pay for the damage they cause—and they can cause some serious damage.

Ice dams not only lead to water damage of ceilings and walls, at the worst they can cause damage to the building structure. The buildup of ice and snow has been a source of major destruction for some buildings. You can avoid major expense by taking care of the situation before problems develop.

RTD Ice Dam Removal experts will eliminate the ice dams on your buildings safely and promptly. We are always available, and with over 20 years of experience, you can rest assured the job will be done right. Contact us for more information.

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For Immediate Help
Call us at 877-687-3639