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Current temperature trends lead to the perfect storm for ice buildup

Ice buildup on roads and homes is usually something that comes with winter. For the most part it’s not a problem as it melts over time. But for some areas around your house, or on back roads that get little treatment, it can become a hazard.

One of the most common problems on unplowed roads and alleyways are the ice lips and ice ruts that build up. “It’s getting way too thick, and my car’s already high centered once,” said Damon Hall, referring to the ice lip at the entrance of his apartment’s alleyway in Idaho Falls. “Right now, the part that everyone drives over is approximately seven, eight inches.

Hall was chipping away at the ice lip for almost an hour to prevent more cars from getting stuck. “It’s becoming a gigantic ice dam,” said Hall.

Several neighbors thanked Hall and a professional crew, who worked to reduce the size of the ice lip. “I drive an SUV, but I still almost bottom out just trying to leave to go to appointments,” said Cody Thomas, who lives in the same area as Hall. “I’m pregnant and I don’t want to slip and fall, so I’m glad they’re taking care of it.”

Besides ice lips on the roads, ice dams on northeast-facing roofs are becoming an issue. For the past few days, temperatures across parts of eastern Idaho have been at the perfect level to allow ice dams to build up.

“I’ve got a lot of ice buildup on my roof,” said Eddy Irigoyen as he was working to remove his own ice dam. “It’s going to come crashing down and break some of my windows in the basement. So I have to get my shovel and knock it off before it does that.”

Even if they don’t crash into your windows, ice dams can still become a problem. “As it builds up enough, you start to get water that will pool in that reservoir,” said Josh Aikele with Paul Davis Restoration. “If that happens you can run into some problems as water gets under your shingles.”

Aikele says they get calls regularly with people who have severe water damage that started with just a simple ice dam. He also says prevention is key.

“Heating cords or heating strips are a good way to prevent it, “said Aikele. “If you already have ice buildup on your roof, simply putting on ice melt will help a lot.”

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