Ice dams causing leaks and roof collapses after snow

Some people would say the weather right now couldn't be more perfect, snowy and sunny, after several weeks of bitter cold. These conditions are also perfect for something else though, ice dams.

MINNEAPOLIS - Some people would say the weather right now couldn't be more perfect. Snowy and sunny, after several weeks of bitter cold.

These conditions are also perfect for something else though: ice dams.

"We've had a lot of long days and lots and lots of calls," Ice Dam Guys technician Dan Atchison says.

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Since early Friday morning, Atchison has pretty much spent more time on a roof than he has on the ground.

He says a majority of his calls are coming from older homes, especially in historic neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

"I'm definitely seeing a lot of icicles on these older homes," Atchison explains.

However, he's also being called out to a few newer homes as well.

"I was at a house the other day that was only three years old," he says.

Heavy amounts of icicles should be your first warning sign, Atchison says. Another is large buildups of snow on the edges of your roof.

"That's telling me the water isn't going down the gutter and it's pooling up and freezing in the gutters," Atchison says.

Roof rakes are probably your cheapest option, he says. The typical hardware store will sell you one for about $30.

The cost of bringing in an ice dam specialist can range between a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand, depending on the size of your roof.

The cost of doing nothing, though, could be much more.

"Replacing sheetrock and roofing can easily cost you thousands of dollars when you're all said and done," Atchison explains.

As busy as it's been these last few days, Atchison says it's going to get even busier.

"It's going to be worse the next couple days."

The weather forecast is currently showing several days of 30 to 40-degree weather.

Together with night temps well below freezing, Atchison says it's the perfect combination for ice dams.

"We're going to get way more calls than we can handle this week."