Ice Dams Costing Homeowners Big Bucks This Winter
By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Cold temperatures have kept the snow from melting outside, and that is causing expensive problems for homeowners.
A problem called "ice damming" is happening to many homeowners right now in Oklahoma. The cold snow sitting on the roof, paired with the heat inside the home is what causes it.
Pieces of Rachael Arstingstall's ceiling are ruined.
"I have never seen this before. My first thought of course was the storm that came," Arstingstall said.
Snow left over from Christmas Eve's blizzard is still sitting on rooftops across Oklahoma. Damage is caused when heat escapes through the attic, melts the snow and water leaks back into the house.
Roofer Bill Nester said "ice dams" are a common problem after winter storms, and damage can be costly.
"You could get somebody up on the roof to chop the snow and the ice and get it off your roof, but chances are they'll tear up the shingles more than they will anything else, and you got to fix that problem later on too," Nester said.
Nester suggested improving the attic's insulation, and not covering up turbines during cold weather snaps.
"You want to keep the roof about the same temperature as the outside air temperature. That will prevent the snow from melting faster at the top and running down and causing ice dams," Nester said.
Meanwhile, Arstingstall has to get the ceiling fixed to prevent mold from growing. She needs new sheet rock, insulation, texturing and paint, and she hopes to get it handled quickly.
"I've already contacted my insurance company. They've started the claim process. They're in the process of getting an adjuster and having an adjuster come out by the end of the week, and we'll just go from there," Arstingstall said.
The easiest problems to fix are sagging gutters, baggy ceilings and loose roof shingles. The most serious problems are the ones you can't see like the extra moisture that causes mold and mildew.
Experts said even if there are only a few days of snow a year, homeowners should still watch out for ice dams because they can form from as little as one inch of snow.
More on News9.com: Extreme Cold Information