Updated: 02/05/2014 7:23 AM KSTP.com By: Brandi Powell
A problem that usually occurs at the end of the winter season has been hitting homes across Minnesota early and hard. We’re talking about those frustrating ice dams. We took a closer look at the problem.
Professional ice dam removers say it’s their busiest winter in decades. Joe Palumbo, owner of Ice Dam Guys, said: “(We’re receiving) hundreds of calls a day. Our web site crashed three times.”
On Tuesday alone, Ice Dam Guys had up to 20 crews out on calls. "Furnaces are running triple time just to keep the house warm, so any imperfections in your insulation or air leaks into the attic or ventilation are all getting magnified," Palumbo explained.
“Our Minnesota chores are roof raking and for some people unfortunately roof shoveling, but because we’ve just got that little bit of snow at a time, just an inch, two inches.” Some homeowners have skipped out on roof raking altogether. But by bit, the snow has gathered on overhangs. “So you've got this giant ice cream sandwich on the edge of your roof and the water can no longer get up over the ice dam, and it pools up, gets under the shingles, and then drip, drip, drip,” Palumbo added.
Minneapolis homeowner Diane Weber knows first hand. "Right where the ice dam is I'm getting wet walls, peeling walls, and my porch is starting to leak,” Weber said. "This house is 109 years old and when you get a freeze and a thaw, the water finds its way in." To get it out she’s counting on the Ice Dam Guys.
It took crews approximately five hours to get the snow and ice off her roof. Each home is different. As for cost, it’s almost $400 an hour. Experts tells us, if you’re being charged in the range of $1,000 an hour, that’s a red flag.
To prevent ice dams in the first place, professionals say use a roof rake. Experts suggest using a plastic rake that has small rollers with a 30-degree bend on the end for leverage.
At this point, experts say all you can do is try to remove as much snow off your roof as possible. If there’s still leaking indoors, don't get on the roof- leave that to professionals.