After harsh winter, ice dams a huge problem for homeowners

DELAFIELD (WITI) -- This brutal winter is having an effect on people's homes! Problems are not limited to water-stained ceilings, peeling paint and sagging gutters -- but there is one problem in particular you'll want to be on the lookout for.

Problems can begin when the thick layer of ice on your roof forces its way under your shingles. This pushes ice into the walls and ceiling of your home, and when it gets warmer outside, the damage could get worse.

The ice on Corey Scholtka's roof has finally melted, but the damage it has caused is starting to show.

"The water's actually coming down two stories. It's just this time of year in Wisconsin," Scholtka said.

Water stains are appearing on Scholtka's living room ceiling -- a sign that the ice cams he captured in pictures dripped water into his attic and through his home's insulation and drywall.

Steve Maki plans to fix Scholtka's problem by upgrading the home's insulation and sealing off any pathways where warm air from the house leaks into the attic.

Just last week, Maki used spray foam to insulate and seal the air in an Oconomowoc home.

"People are experiencing more ice damming than typically in other seasons," Maki said.

Maki’s company, Accurate Insulation Solutions a member of Milwaukee NARI, has responded to hundreds of ice dam calls this winter — the most they’ve ever had.

He's had to hire two new people to keep up with the demand!

"All winter, nonstop," Maki said.

During the winter, Scholtka laid heating cables to melt the thick dams before they damaged his roof, but they weren't enough.

"I was up on the roof with the cords. Thank goodness I didn't fall off," Scholtka said.

Some of the ice spilled onto his walkway, and breaking up the large chunks that formed wasn't easy.

Hopefully, he won't have to do it again.

"I should have another ten years left on this roof once Steve is done insulating," Scholtka said.

If you start to notice water stains in your home, it  might be a good idea to get an energy audit to find out exactly where your home is leaking warm air. That warm air is what heats the roof -- causing the ice dams to form in the first place.