By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Chris VanVleet has his eyes fixated on the roofs of homes, not for the Christmas lights, but the icicles forming at the edge.

VanVleet, one of the owners of Ice Dams Removed, spotted several soon-to-be ice dams on houses in Anoka County. Temperatures in the coming days are expected to soar above freezing during the day, then dip below again at night.

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“And when it freezes at night, that ice dam is going to continue to build. And as it thaws during the day, that’s your potential for leaking,” VanVleet said.

He said he got nearly 20 calls about ice dams Wednesday, but expects that number to at least double as the weather warms. That is why he is warning homeowners to take action sooner rather than later.

“The biggest thing is the get the snow off your roof,” he said.

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We spotted one home where it appears the roof was raked. It’s a cost effective task for people to try if they’re comfortable with heights.

“When you do rake that snow off the roof, you do wanna make sure to get it down to the shingle to let the sun do its work,” he said.

His crews can rake as well. But if the ice dam is already formed, their approach heats up.

“We just stick with the tried-and-true method of steam, and that really is what works the best,” he said.

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Installing heating cables or tape on rooftops is another way to quickly melt snow and keep ice from forming. One method that does not include any hard labor involves turning down the heat in your home, especially when you’re not there. That means less heat in the attic, and less of a chance for melt.

Jeff Wagner