ice-dammingWhile the icicles hanging from your roof may be beautiful, they can cause a lot of trouble–especially to older homes. That’s because icicles and snow covered roofs also lead to snow dams: thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves. Dams can rip off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water damage to your interior and exterior.

Ice dams are very common in old homes. Here are 3 of the most common reasons why ice dams form on old houses.

Attic Air Leaks

Attic air leaks, also known as attic bypasses, can be found in almost any old home, which is one of the main culprits for ice dams. The space around the furnace or water heater vent are some of the main reasons ice dams begin to form. These areas may be small, but they allow a lot of air to leak up into the attic.


Everyone knows that insulation is needed in the attic. Commonly in older homes, there are voids in the insulation that have never been fixed. If there isn’t enough insulation, add more. The current minimum insulation requirement for new homes in Minnesota is insulation values between R-38 and R-44.


Having the right amount of ventilation for the attic space will help keep the roof surface cold, which will prevent snow from melting. With older homes, the traditional way of venting was common throughout every home–which was to have half of the ventilation provided by vents installed low, and the other half at the top. Now, there is a newer way to ventilate attics that function better than the older way. The modern way is to put more soffit venting than ridge venting with a ratio being around 1/3 high and 2/3 low.

If you have done everything you can think of to try to fix your ice dam problem but they seem to keep coming back, call Minnesota Leafless Gutters. We are more than happy to help you with any questions you may have about your ice dam problem. Call us today at 612-221-0362.

COVID-19 Update

We are open and following all recommended state and national safety recommendations during this time. We can also operate 100% contact free from consultation to job completion if you prefer.
Thank you for your business, and we wish you and your family continued health and safety!
Tim Hanson
Owner, Minnesota Leafless Gutters

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