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Minn. Conditions Ripe For Costly Rooftop Ice Dams

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Ice dams form at the edge of roofs when the snow melts and refreezes. (credit: CBS)

Ice dams form at the edge of roofs when the snow melts and refreezes. (credit: CBS)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Unusual weather conditions have been causing problems for some Minnesota homeowners.

Contractors say they’re getting a surge in calls about rooftop ice dams.

That’s when snow accumulates on a roof that’s too warm, then melts and drains down to refreeze at the overhangs. That can cause water to collect behind the ice, eventually seeping through the roof and into the house and causing extensive damage.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service says conditions have to be just right for ice dams to form. So even people whose homes have withstood plenty of Minnesota winters could find themselves vulnerable.

One factor that warms the underside of a roof is heat escaping through poorly insulated attics. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says homeowners can protect themselves by improving the insulation.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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