Ice dams: An expensive problem to have

February 12, 2019 07:04 PM

Cold temperatures and lots of snow are the perfect conditions for ice dams. Dams can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas.

Companies that specialize in removing them have been busy as of late.


Two days ago, Tenni Nagel and her husband knew something wrong when they saw a lot of icicles hanging from their roof and on the side of their home. And then this morning, they awoke and noticed some leakage in the house. 

"The wall is starting to buckle and there is some ceiling damage and some window damage. It's not the most pleasant experience to wake up and have to deal with some home damage," she said.

Nagel says, she got on the phone and called Mike Hilborn, the owner of RTD Ice Dam Removal. After looking at Nagel's situation he concluded his analysis.

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"It's damaging the insulation and certainly sheetrock," he said.

Hilborn says cold temperatures and a large amount of snow is the perfect combo for creating ice dams.

"It's in the spot where it's warm at top, it's cool on the bottom but it's [a] little warm in the middle," he said. 

Hilborn had one of his employees on a 32-foot ladder clearing the ice. He was clearing all of the ice at arms-length. The water he uses to spray is roughly 200 degrees. Hilborn said they worked on about six houses Tuesday. On average, each job takes two to three hours for each house. 

"I've got 35 ice machines. Today, we've got three running, tomorrow six, the next day we'll probably be at 12, it'll jump dramatically over the next few days," he said.

What can a homeowner do to prevent ice dams?

"Three things you do before you have an ice dam: It's ventilation, insulation and you're making sure all those gaps that are pipes going through the roof are all sealed up," Hilborn said.

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Todd Wilson

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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