What Do Winter Ice Dams Mean for My Home in the Summer?

What Do Winter Ice Dams Mean for My Home in the Summer?  blog header image
May 14, 2023

Do you know the old saying “April showers bring May flowers”? We’d like to propose a new version for Wisconsin homeowners: Winter ice dams bring summer struggles. 

Admittedly, it’s a bit less catchy. But, it points to an all-important truth that is easy to overlook as the weather outside gets warmer: Though ice dams disappear during spring and summer, the underlying issues that cause them often lead to problems for homeowners year-round. 

Luckily, there are solutions to address these underlying issues so you can keep your home comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient all year long. Read on to learn more about how to fix and prevent ice dams, as well as how the local experts at Wisconsin Home Improvement can help. 

Why Am I Getting Ice Dams on My Roof? 

Before we dive into how to address the problem of ice dams, let’s talk about why they form. Most ice dams form as a direct result of heat escaping through a home’s attic. When there’s snow on the roof during winter, a hot attic can warm the bottom layer of snow and cause it to melt. That water then travels down the roof until it refreezes. Over time, the area where that snowmelt refreezes can become so large that it creates an ice dam, which prevents future snowmelt from dripping off the roof. 

Instead, water that is trapped by the dam can make its way into your home through the shingles, eventually causing damage to your ceiling, walls, attic floors, and more. If left long enough, these moisture issues can even lead to problems with mold growth.

What Winter Ice Dams Can Tell You About Summer Home Comfort  

Here’s the thing about ice dams: Though they’re technically a winter problem, their underlying cause(s) can lead to year-round issues for Wisconsin homeowners. This is because ice dams are usually a symptom of problems with outdated or ineffective attic insulation and/or gaps in the roof that are allowing heat to escape.

In the summer, poor attic insulation and leaky air sealing can lead to additional problems for homeowners. Where hot air escapes through poor insulation and gaps in the roof during the winter, those same gaps allow heat to enter your house during the summer. This often causes homes to be uncomfortably warm and/or inconsistently cooled, even with the AC running. Not to mention, it can lead to high energy bills. 

How Do I Fix an Ice Dam Problem? 

For homeowners from Milwaukee, to Madison, to Racine (and beyond!), contact the regional experts at Wisconsin Home Improvement for help fixing your ice dam problem. We’ve been helping our local communities with home comfort and efficiency for more than 38 years and can help you find the ice dam solution that’s best for your unique home. 

For most homeowners, ice dam problems can be fixed and prevented with upgraded attic insulation and air sealing services. To know which areas these upgrades should focus on, we recommend starting with a home performance audit to determine where your home is working efficiently and where it’s losing energy. If you had ice dams this winter and want to ensure your home is comfortable and efficient this summer, get in touch with Wisconsin Home Improvement today. 

Upgrade your attic’s insulation and air sealing so your home is comfortable and energy efficient this summer. Call 262.345.9922 or contact us online.

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