It’s that time of year again to start thinking about preparing your Golden Valley home for winter. No doubt there’s going to be heaps of snow and harsh weather ahead.

Like many homeowners, you may have to deal with those huge mounds of ice and snow on the edges of your roof.

Yes, ice dams. Those pretty icicles don’t do your roof and home exterior any favors. Prevention is the key. Read on to learn how to best prevent ice dams now so you won’t have to deal with them on your roof later.


Ice dams are caused by the melting and refreezing of snow on the roof. The reason that the snow on the roof is melting even when the temperature outside is below the freezing mark is because heated air is escaping from your living spaces and flowing into the attic.

As warm are seeps into the attic space, it heats the roof and melts the snow on top. The snow melt runs down the roof and refreezes on the cold edges which don’t receive that warmer attic air. This happens over and over until huge mounds of ice and snow have built up on your roof’s edges.


There perhaps isn’t one safe and effective do-it-yourself method for removing ice dams from your roof. It’s a dangerous job that is best left to roofing pros. One slip on an icy ladder could be disastrous, especially when someone is armed with an ice pick or claw hammer. Hot-water pressure washers aren’t the right tool for the job either. You’ll just damage roofing shingles.

Ice dams can be safely removed using a high-temperature, low-pressure steam sprayer. It’s still a very dangerous job that should be left to professionals. And, not a fly-by-night company knocking on doors. Get a real roofer to do the job.


The right way to prevent ice dams is to air seal your attic and add insulation up to R-60. One of the best types of attic insulation to choose is closed-cell spray-in foam. This type of insulation acts as an air barrier to all those hundreds of leaky spots in the typical attic from the conditioned spaces to the unconditioned attic.

If you’re going to go with fiberglass or cellulose insulation, use loose fill so that it reaches all of those nooks and crannies. That said, if you’re going to use fiberglass, you need to air seal the attic first. Fiberglass insulation is not an air barrier.

If you’ve ever taken a look and seen extremely dirty insulation in your attic, that is from air leaks. The insulation is actually acting like an air filter (like a fiberglass furnace filter) from the air passing into the attic. So, wherever you see dirty insulation, you probably have substantial air leaks. Hire a pro to air seal and insulate, and you’re good to go for a brand new winter this year!

For professional roofing services for your Golden Valley home, contact Younger Exteriors today. We handle all kinds of roofing jobs, and additionally siding, gutters, and storm damage restoration. Give us a call (612) 320-0320!