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Ice storm could cause lingering damage to homes

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JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- As homeowners across Wisconsin dig out from a weekend of winter weather, inspectors warn simply shoveling may not be enough.

With more than a decade of home inspections under his belt, Joe Saladino of Janesville-based Reliable Home Inspection knows winter storms can take their toll. That's why he suggests all homeowners impacted do a quick check of their homes as they thaw.

"First of all you want to check your siding to make sure none of it's been lifted or none of its come off," he said.

After heavy ice coated Janesville Friday, wind brought down branches and power lines Saturday morning and a sheet of snow covered it all that night, Saladino said some of that damage may not be immediately visible.

"You might get some water coming through into the attic and then you'll see some staining on a ceiling or when it finally melts away and the shingles are exposed you might see it at that point," he said.

Saladino said one of those concerns could be ice dams building up as snow and ice melts and refreezes over the next week.

He suggests homeowners watch out for any buildup on their roofs and pay close attention to any water stains that appear on their ceilings as the ice thaws.

In the meantime, he said the more immediate concern is the ice-covered branches.

"If you have a power line coming into the house and it's passing through some tree limbs, make sure that it's not impinged on those limbs and those limbs aren't pressing down against it," he said. "That's going to cause some damage."

If you see any limbs and power lines like this, Saladino said you should call your power company to clear it.

Once you verify power lines are safe, Saladino suggests you check branches dangling over your roof or car. If you see any split or any that look precarious, he said don't assume their threat is over because the storm has passed.

"Especially as the temperatures get lower, they're going to become more brittle," he said.

Saladino said if you believe your home sustained any damage from the storm, call your insurance company and get an assessment. If they find significant damage, he said you should get it fixed as soon as possible.

As winter weather continues, Saladino said that could exacerbate that damage.

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Michelle Alfini

Reporter, WKOW

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