ROCHESTER, Minn. - Now that the Med-City is entering a bit of a 'winter warm-up' - ice dams are more likely to form on the edge of your roof. Ice dams occur when there is a combination of snow on the roof, temperatures above freezing, and warm air escaping your home, causing snow to melt, and re-freeze - which could be more damaging to your roof than you think.
It's not just the roof that can be damaged- it can also destroy gutters and siding - and leaks can further ruin your home's interior - and can be costly to repair.
Terry Webster, Senior Energy Outreach Planner for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, says throwing salt or heating cables on your roof are among the worst things you can do.
Instead Webster suggests hiring a contractor to steam the ice off your roof - and it's important to address what really is behind the problem.
“Which is warm air that is leaking into your attic - if that's not addressed - then you're going to continue to have ice dams no matter what,” Webster explains.
Look out for those long, drooping icicles on the overhang of your roof.
“The reason that that ice occurs there is that the water flows down now it got to the part of the roof that is no longer heated from below- so then it freezes again."
Webster tells KIMT if you notice this forming on the south side of a building - not to worry, it may be caused by the sun heating your home's shingles - but if it's on any other side of the house - you’ll want to seek professional service.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce encourages home owners to follow up with a home performance review to determine where warm air is coming from - so that it can be properly sealed.
For more information on ice dams, visit https://mn.gov/commerce-stat/pdfs/ice-dams.pdf.