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Ice dams more common this time of year

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Roofs all over our area are dripping right now, due to our short warm-up.  If you aren't careful, all that melting snow could cause major damage to your home.

Experts say they're getting a lot more calls about ice dams, partially due to all the snow we have gotten this year.  But dams are also more common when there's a cycle of warmer days, and below freezing nights.

Snow melts off the roof, goes into the gutters, and freezes again.  With every warm day followed by a freezing night, that cycle continues.  Ice can get backed-up onto your roof, and start forcing water under the shingles, leading to water damage inside your home.

The best thing to do if you suspect an ice dam is to call the experts.  But there's also something simple you can do yourself to prevent potentially major damage.

"The safest way would be to buy yourself a snow rake, and remove six feet [of snow] up from the eave of the home.  Just allow it to melt and drain down the eave, and keep that exposure to the sunlight to it can melt," says Isaac Theisen, an Estimator with Ledegar Roofing in La Crosse.

Theisen says heavy snow also has the potential to collapse a roof.  But he says that's unlikely, since homes in the Midwest are generally built to withstand lots of weight from snow.

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