Weekend thaw could lead to costly ice dams on local roofs

The polar vortex has moved out of town but residents should still be cautious of ice dams, which can cause costly damage during the thaw after a snowy deep freeze.

The Ice Dam Guys paid a visit to a Mount Prospect home Friday to fix the common winter malady.

Homeowner Phil Fitzgerald knew something was wrong at his home when he heard the tell-tale sound of trouble coming from his ceiling.

“On the first night it got cold on Tuesday, I heard a ‘tick, tick, tick.’ I knew it wasn’t the clock. I came back and the ceiling was leaking. I knew I had an ice dam that I had from before,” Fitzgerald said.

Ice dams are created when snow on rooftops thaws then refreezes, clogging gutters and drains, which in turn causes snow melt to pool on the roof and leak into the house.

They are expected to pose a real problem for homeowners this weekend when temperatures are expected to climb into the 40s and 50s.

“With the increase in temperatures, it’s going to start to allow more of the snow to melt on top and underneath because you’re going to have the ice being hit from two different directions which could increase the amount of ice dams that build up on the house,” said Virgil March from the Ice Dam Guys.

Ice dams can be an expensive problem, causing thousands of dollars in damage. The best way to prevent them is to make sure your gutters are clear and to remove as much snow as you can from the roof of your house.