Ice dams can be a problem this time of year here in the Rochester MN area. Snow melts on the roof and freezes at the eaves leaving a dam. Continued melting will pool water up behind the dam and has the potential to seep under your shingles, resulting in water damage to both the roof deck, as well as the walls and ceilings. During this home inspection I discovered that most all of the insulation from the roof deck had fallen loose in the partial attic section of this story and a half home. In addition, there was no insulation on the interior knee wall, and very little insulation in the ceiling area. The problem results in heat escape to the roof deck, causing the snow melt.
The good thing in this case is that most all of the attic areas were accessible which would allow the home owner to install adequate insulation. The recommendation is to hire an insulation contractor to provide adequate insulation to the affected areas to increase insulation efficiency and eliminate the ice damming. I addition to adding insulation the home inspector recommended that the homeowner use a roof rake to keep the bottom 3-4 feet of the eaves clear of snow.