Preventing ice dam damage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Preventing ice dam damage

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- With the rapid changes recently in temperatures, ice dams are an annual, and fairly common problem. Problems arise when heat from inside your home escapes, causing the bottom layer of ice to melt, pool up and eventually leak inside.

Experts say prevention really lies in making sure your rooftop is properly insulated, something that is more easily checked before winter strikes. But now that we're in the middle of the season, experts say you can still prevent costly damage from ice dams.

Hundreds of homeowners in Dubuque dealt with ice dams last year, this year it's only the beginning.

"We've had calls right up Christmas day, Christmas Eve, and it really hasn't stopped yet. We've been responding to leaks actively," Martin Winders of Windco Roofing said.

Ice dams can force water into your house, sometimes where it's tough to spot.

"They should look for discoloration around the walls and perimeters of ceilings, and exteriorly, they can look for water coming out from behind the gutter and down through siding maybe through window and such areas like that," Winders said.

When some snow begins to melt, often you can see that the snow and ice have melted near the center of the roof, but it actually accumulates near the gutters. That's where ice dams are most likely to form.

Experts say it's best to get rid of that build-up as the season goes along, instead of waiting until the end when you might run into problems. That makes our warmer days perfect, but experts say don't try to remove ice yourself. Stick to a professional if you're concerned with your roof.

"Have them come and look at your roof, the design of the building, and what your r-value is, and make sure proper ventilation is flowing," Winders said.

Roofers say you can actually damage your house doing ice dam removal, so that's another reason to call in professionals.

The roofers we talked to say repairs for damage caused by ice dams could cost you from fifty dollars up to tens of thousands of dollars. So again: they say prevention with proper insulation is key.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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