Ice Dams- Cause and Prevention

Updated: Apr 5th, 2017
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What Causes Ice Dams

ServiceMaster™ proudly serves Minneapolis, St Paul, Burnsville, Eagan, Chaska, Shakopee, Hudson, Stillwater and surrounding areas.

Every winter, ServiceMaster is flooded with calls concerning water damage caused by ice dams. Many homeowners are confused about what ice dams are and how they happen.

Ice dams form through a melt-freeze process. First, warm air from inside your home seeps up into your attic and warms the roof. Next, if there is a layer of snow, the warm roof melts the snow. The warmed water runs down the slope of the roof. When the water comes to the eaves, it refreezes and forms a dam. The dam traps all subsequent melt water on the roof. As the water builds up it can back up underneath shingles and leak into the house. Once water house found its way into the house secondary damages, like mold and mildew, become likely.  So, the best thing you can do is take steps to prevent ice dams and the water damage they cause.

Using a roof rake, remove the first three feet of snow from the edges of your roof after every storm

Keep your downspouts clear of debris and ice.

Make sure your attic is well insulated to keep heat escape to a minimum

Seal any air leaks you find in the attic.

Have your energy company do an energy audit of your home. Many of the things that keep your energy bills down also prevent ice dams. The energy auditor will be able to suggest improvements to make your home more efficient and heat tight.

If you have water damage in your home, the experts at ServiceMaster of Minneapolis are more than happy to walk you through the entire water mitigation process. Give us a call today at 612- 213-3712. We’re here for you 24/7.


ServiceMaster is a national company that has been a leader in the cleaning industry for more than 50 years. The local franchise in Minneapolis were founded in 1993 by people in the community who wanted to provide the best possible cleaning services to their neighbors.

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