Experts warn of risk in ignoring ice dams

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The guys from the The Gutter People blasted away at 16 inches of ice built up around gutters. They’ve already knocked down ice at over 150 other houses this winter.

“A lot of people are getting the leaks on the inside and a lot of people are doing this as a preventative measure because they either had problems in years prior so they want to make sure that these thaws that are trying to get over these ice dams can now get beyond the gutter and off the structure of the house,” Kevin Nowak of The Gutter People said.

Once they blast away everything above the gutter, they put a biodegradable ice melt on the gutter, and by morning, water is flowing again down the spouts rather than down the walls of homes with ice dams.

STORY | Learn exactly what an ice dam is here, and how it can impact any home. 

“When the thaw comes, it’s gonna be crazy because anybody that didn;t get a chance to do that, they’re gonna be having a real tough time preventing that water from coming into their home,” Nowak said.

Ice buildup can show where heat escapes the house. It also is proof that this winter is one of the coldest there has ever been. There’s been no warm-up to clear the ice.

“Even a lot of newer roofs are having problems, but this is where you find out exactly what your house is made of,” Nowak said. “The ice tells us a real good story.”

The story is one many residents have struggled with. The winter of 2015. But Nowak doesn’t think many will come out of it without some damage to their houses.

“We’ve already had a lot of (gutters) come down,” Nowak said. “We’ve had a lot of them literally get crushed. It’s as though a truck had backed into the building with the snow drifting and the heavy weight of that.”

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