I'm in snowy Minneapolis, living in a 3-story house built in 1886. The top floor is fully-finished and heated, and there's no attic.

We've been getting crazy ice dams this year, but not previous years. The ice dams form right where the 2nd and 3rd floor meet. Fortunately I haven't noticed any leaks yet. But I'm worried, and don't know what to do since all the floors are heated.

1/3: This is taken from a 2nd story window.

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2/3: Here's the outside. Apologies it doesn't show the whole roof.

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3/3: This old real estate listing photo is taken from inside the top/3rd floor. The center-left window below is the top-center window above.

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Since the floors are all heated, how can I prevent ice dams? Thank you!

  • Has the weather been warming & freezing again a lot lately? – Xen2050 Mar 3 '19 at 7:53

The only way to prevent ice dams is to prevent the heat from transferring from the inside space through the ceiling and heating the underside of the roof. If The heat in the indoor Space transfers to the underside of the roof it melts the snow which interns runs down to the eaves and then re-freezes causing ice dams. The only way to prevent heat transference to the roof is proper installation.

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  • 1
    Adding to @Alaska man's recommendation would be to ventilate the unused cavities and attic to make sure that those areas remain nearly as cold as the outside temperatures so the snow does not melt from heat from the inside. – d.george Mar 3 '19 at 12:03
  • We do not have an attic. – RobertAKARobin Mar 3 '19 at 13:10
  • You may not have an attic but there are voids all around the outer walls adjacent to the windows and in any knee wall and above the ceiling. (the ceiling looks flat and the roof is pitched.) – d.george Mar 3 '19 at 19:09
  • You could add heater strips. But the freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw cycle is the culprit. Unusually cold winter and you have this issue. – Jeff Cates Mar 4 '19 at 19:25

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