If you’re unfortunate enough to live in one of the areas of the country battered by the winter of 2013-14, here in Michigan, we know how you feel. Not only have we endured record snows and record cold here in Michigan this winter, but we are also seeing record ice damming on homes across the state.

Many homeowners are already dealing with the ravages of ice dams on their homes, and as winter weather fades to spring, the problem will likely get worse. Many winters may pass with minimal ice damming on homes, but long-term sub-zero cold has made this winter especially damaging.

Ice Dams Are Not Caused by Roofing

As we have recorded in our sales presentation book, in our contracts and carefully explain to each of our customers, ice damming is not evidence of a roofing issue, but rather an issue that is clearly centered in the attic. An attic that gets too warm in winter, will generate this damaging freeze-thaw cycle that results in melting snow refreezing at the eave edges and gutters. Heavy, destructive ice builds up as the warm attic continues to melt snow. As more snow melts due to the warm attic, the water moves toward the gutter and encounters the ice dam. The ice dam backs the water back up into the house and the damage begins.

If you notice ice dams building up on your home, your instinct might be to call your roofer, but there is not much he can do - mainly because the problem is caused by excess heat in the attic.The solution lies in reducing heat loss through your attic that melts the snow that causes the ice dam cycle to occur.

Learn More / Find Solutions

This downloadable article published by the State of Minnesota explains the conditions that create ice dams and offers a number of helpful solutions:

We hope this information is helpful. Please remember that ice dams are almost universally misunderstood to be caused by a roofing issue. Winter is a frustrating time for those of us in the roofing business. We know firsthand the kind of damage ice dams can do to a home and we feel for homeowners forced to deal with this problem. However, we bear the additional burden of having the quality of our products and workmanship called into question over ice damming, when the cause of the problem is beyond our influence or control.


American Metal Roofs (AMR) of Michigan Logo frank-farmer