Working to prevent ice dams at home

MONONA (WKOW) — Snow-covered roofs all over the area are forming ice dams as they melt and refreeze.

With the warm up and rain coming this weekend, water damage could become a concern for many.

Rick Cruz has been doing roof work for 30 years.

Friday he was in Monona, focusing on stopping ice dams.

“We’re preventing all the water from this rain that’s coming up from going inside the house,” Cruz said. “We want the water to flow, not necessarily in these gutters ’cause they’re all frozen solid, but off the roof.”

Those ice dams form as snow melts and ice accumulates on the edge of the roof.

Water then backs up, going under the shingles and into your home.

“You end up calling your insurance company to start replacing dry wall and major leaks inside your ceilings and your walls,” Cruz said. “Most likely your drywall will collapse.”

Cruz says when you already have ice built up, there’s not much you can do about it except waiting for it to melt.

Trying to break it up might lead to damaging your gutters and shingles.

That’s why he recommends preventative maintenance.

“This is the second time I’ve done it this winter,” John Kitslaar, a nearby homeowner, said. “I mainly did it just because of the amount of the snow up there.”

Kitslaar lives down the road from where Cruz was working.

He cleared his own roof of snow Thursday.

If you want to take care of it yourself, go from the ground and let professionals work it from the roof.

Cruz says it could be dangerous.

“I don’t recommend it for the homeowners to do it,” Cruz said. “Hire professionals, [like] all your local contractors, roofing contractors.”

However, if you stick to that plan, rain like we’ll get this weekend will help the process.

“Last time I did this, shortly after we had that rain and the roof was totally cleared,” Kitslaar said.

Francisco Almenara

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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