Ice Dam? Now What..

Ice Damming

Understanding the Causes of Ice Damming in Wisconsin: A Comprehensive Guide

Ice damming is a common winter phenomenon in Wisconsin that can cause significant damage to your property. If you have Ice damming your have a problem that could be multiple issues.  Let's go through a few obvious scenario's to better understand why this issue occurs.

  1. Inadequate Insulation: Homes with insufficient insulation are more susceptible to ice damming. When warm air escapes from the living spaces and reaches the roof, it causes the snow on the roof to melt. The melted snow then refreezes at the roof's edges, forming ice dams. Proper insulation is essential to maintain a consistent temperature and prevent the melting and refreezing cycle (U.S. Department of Energy, "Insulation Basics").
  2. Ventilation Issues: Poor ventilation in the attic can exacerbate ice damming problems. Inadequate ventilation traps warm air in the attic, contributing to the melting of snow on the roof. Proper attic ventilation allows for the escape of warm air, preventing the conditions conducive to ice dam formation (University of Minnesota Extension, "Attic Ventilation").
  3. Roof Design: Certain roof designs are more prone to ice damming. Homes with complex roof structures, multiple dormers, or intersecting roof lines may have areas where snow accumulates unevenly, leading to the formation of ice dams. Understanding the potential vulnerabilities in your roof design can help in implementing targeted preventive measures (Journal of Building Physics, "Effects of Roof Shape and Snow Drift on Ice Dam Formation").
  4. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts: Clogged gutters and downspouts prevent proper drainage of melted snow. When water is unable to flow freely through the gutters, it can accumulate at the roof's edge and freeze, contributing to the development of ice dams. Regular gutter maintenance is crucial to prevent blockages and ensure proper water drainage (Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, "Maintaining Gutters and Downspouts").
  5. Sun Exposure: While the cold climate is a significant factor, sunlight can also contribute to ice damming. On sunny winter days, the sun's rays can warm certain areas of the roof, causing localized melting. As the melted snow runs down the roof and refreezes at the colder roof edges, ice dams can form (National Research Council Canada, "Solar Radiation and Snow on Roofs").

Conclusion: Ice damming may seem to be a complex issue influenced by various factors but in reality a proper evaluation of the roof will help determine the situation.  Consult an independent person to evaluate your roof not a roofer.  There goal is to get the job and many do not know how to solve the problem. As a Wisconsin resident you should be proactive in addressing these contributing factors to minimize the risk of ice dam formation and protect their homes from potential damage during the winter months. Implementing proper insulation, ventilation, and regular maintenance practices are key steps in safeguarding homes against the challenges posed by ice damming.

Contact 1st Choice Inspection to have an independent evaluation of your situation.

ABOUT 1st Choice Home Inspection:

1st Choice Inspection
Michael Schwitzer

1603 Rockridge Way, Waukesha, WI 53188

1st Choice Inspection: The Best Inspection Company in Waukesha, WI

When you're buying or selling a home, condo or commercial building it's important to have a thorough inspection done by a qualified professional. That's where 1st Choice Inspection comes in. We're the best home inspection company in Waukesha, WI, and I am here to help you make the best decision on purchase or sale.

Here are just a few reasons why 1st Choice Inspection is the best:

The owner, Michael Schwitzer, is certified and experienced. Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (interNACHI), and a Certified Master Inspector® with 28+ years of experience inspecting homes, condo’s and commercial buildings in Waukesha and the surrounding area.

1st Choice Inspection is thorough. Our inspections are comprehensive, and I look at every aspect of your home, condo or commercial building from the roof to the foundation in Waukesha & surrounding communities.

A home and condo inspection includes an examination of the following:

Commercial Inspections focus on the mechanical items within the building and also specific items at the request of the customer.

As the owner, Michael’s approach to business is based on customer satisfaction, As the ONLY professional and knowledgeable inspector who is also a LICENSED INSURANCE AGENT in the state. I will educate you on your new purchase and make sure you understand not only the inspection process but ways to improve it. I am happy to answer any questions you have.

We offer competitive rates and are on point.  If you are looking for a cheap inspector, you will need to go elsewhere.  The cheapest is never the best!

Areas Served:

Why Hire an Inspector?

There are many reasons to hire a home inspector when you are buying or selling a home. An inspection can help you:

  • Identify potential defects or problems with the home, condo or commercial building
  • Make an informed decision whether or not to buy the home, condo or commercial building
  • Negotiate a lower purchase price if there are defects
  • Avoid costly repairs after you move in

What to Expect During a Home or Condo Inspection:

A home or condo inspection typically takes between 3 to 4 hours to complete. I will provide you with a written report that details my findings within 24 hours and usually the same day. The report will include a description of any defects or issues that should be addressed.

A commercial inspection typically takes longer and may require additional members of the team with specific specialties.

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If you're looking for the best inspection company in Waukesha WI, look no further than 1st Choice Inspection. We will help you make the best decision for your home, condo or commercial building purchase or sale.

For more information about 1st Choice Home Inspection and their inspection services, email them at or call them at (414) 803-9678 to schedule an appointment.