Ice Dams: Not just pipes affected in East Texas freeze

Ice Dams

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - As the thaw begins after our days under piles of snow, some problems for East Texas homeowners and water pipes are just beginning, and assessing the damage done by the freezing temperatures.

But a new aspect of possible damage could come from a home’s roof as thawing takes place. They’re called ice dams.

Places like Home Depot in Longview have been flooded by customers over the last two days, all seeking plumbing supplies for broken pipes.

Many knowing that getting a plumber could be a long wait.

“A lot of people want us out, but most understand that we’re just worried about safety. There are some roads that are ok, but some that are not,” said Glen Parker of Richard Parker Plumbing.

Ice dams are a unique problem, not from frozen pipes, but from melting roof snow and ice. It particularly happens to homes with rain gutters.

“Night before last I noticed water coming inside my house from one of the walls in the back. Up north they call this an ice dam. I think the inside is warming this up and backing up into the walls, and coming inside the house,” said Tyler homeowner Jim Zeller.

As ice melts, it gets under the shingles and can drain down inside the walls of a home. Icicles can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and do damage to the interior of a home.

“It goes back up inside, runs down your walls and ruins your floors,” Zeller says.

Gently removing the ice build up can stop water from leaking into a home.

Also a box fan in the attic, aimed at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in, will freeze the water in its tracks.

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