Warmer Weather Could Bring Ice Dam Problems

Created: 03/04/2014 5:30 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Though we may be seeing a slight warm up in the coming days, that may not help another problem this winter weather has brought use, ice dams. They form on your roof and can cause big problems for home owners.

"I've always raked my roof. I have a rake and I've always done it, but last year I couldn't do it," said Rochester resident Helen Aarsvold. One winter without clearing off the ice dams on her roof and she was out roughly $10,000. "Water in my house, the whole south side of my house, the walls had to be redone," said Helen.

This year she's not taking any chances, and apparently, a lot of people are also being proactive this winter. "We get about 10 to 15 calls a day right now," said President of KW Billman Incorporated, Kent Billman. He says with the heavy snow and fluctuating temperatures this season, home owners better be on the lookout.

"An ice dam is formed when the temperature rises during the day and the snow on your roof melts. It will typically run to the ease of your roof where it’s colder and it re-freezes again," said Billman, so things could get worse as it warms up outside.

"As the process continues, there's actually standing water that forms on top of that and it can cause leakage and damage inside of your home," said Billman.

As Helen knows, the damage can be costly "The biggest thing is the insulation in your attic will get soaked and wet, which makes the problem even worse because the more heat you lose, the more problems there are," said Billman.

So how do you prevent it? You can try to rake off some of the snow and ice, or call roofing companies to clear off the snow and steam out the ice dams. That’s the solution Helen turned to, to be on the safe side this season. "Yes, I think it's very important after what I went through last year," said Helen.

We're told people who've had leaks before should get this taken care of as soon as possible. If it has never been a problem for you, still be on the lookout. The best way to detect a problem is of course to check for leaks, but you can also look and see if your vents are plugged with snow or if there's a lot of ice gathering along the edges of your roof line.