This winter, Minnesota is facing the same tumultuous weather patterns as the rest of the country. This year has had a lack of snow, too much snow, and if the temperatures warm up just enough as a weather event comes through, the snow can change to freezing rain and quickly become an ice storm.

What is an Ice Storm?

Ice storms happen when a warm layer of air rests above a freezing layer of air at ground level. When a winter storm moves through, the warm air melts the falling snow into rain. This rain freezes as soon as it comes into contact with whatever it touches.

When freezing rain creates a layer of ice of a quarter inch or more, it is considered an ice storm. Smaller amounts of ice can make travel, driving and walking hazardous, but usually don’t pose the same threats as the accumulation in a true ice storm.

Dangers of Ice Storms
Ice is heavier than most homeowners realize. For example, 12 inches of freshly fallen snow weighs approximately the same as one inch of ice. Since ice packs so well, it can add tremendous weight to roofs, trees, power lines and other structures. Wires may snap on their own or be brought down by falling trees unable to hold up the weight of the ice covering their branches. Even power poles can be brought down under the tremendous stress of ice.

When gusting winds accompany the storms, it compounds the problem of structures trying to remain upright under the weight of the ice. In addition, trees may fall against your roof, and with the ice buildup on the branches, they will be much heavier and can cause more severe damage. 

Ice accumulation on your roof becomes a critical concern. Your roof is designed to hold a significant amount of weight but should the ice near the edges break off, it will crash to the ground, taking shingles, soffit and facia with them. 

Additionally, if you experienced ice dams during the winter season, it is important to look for damage to the structural integrity of your roof, gutters, shingles, etc.  Not sure what to look for? Signature Home Services can come to your location and provide a FREE inspection to assess any damages due to ice dams.

Staying Safe in Minnesota

Your first priority during an ice storm is to stay safe. Be prepared for power outages and listen to all weather advisories. Following the storm, if you have experienced winter storm damage from falling trees or ice or are concerned about ice accumulation on your roof, contact the professionals at Signature Home Services LLC for an inspection and estimate today.