Local home inspector gives ice dam prevention tips

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - While many people know you have to clean a homes gutters before winter starts, not everyone knows what problems can arise if you forget. "When the gutters are no longer able to gather and carry that water away from the home, when they're full of leaves and debris, the water builds up, and especially this time of year, it can freeze," said Aaron Driskill with Cornerstone Property Inspections out of Republic.

KY3 and KSPR News followed Driskill as he inspected a house in Springfield. He said those who don't clean their gutters will most likely have water overflow, which can backup into homes and lead to other problems like ice dams. "An ice dam is where moisture builds up and it pushes as it grows, as the ice grows it can push back up underneath the shingles and then get in there where it is bellow freezing." Ice dams often damage many layers of people's homes, including the wood, insulation, and drywall. Plus, if the ice dam goes unnoticed, mold spores can start to grow.

Driskill said there are extra steps homeowners can take on top of cleaning gutters to make sure everything flows smoothly this winter. "They have heat strips that you can put in your gutters, or it's a coated wire that you can lay on the edge of the roof just above the shingles, to help melt that ice and keep that area from freezing up and building up." Most heating strips and coated wires for roofs cost between $40 - $100.

He reminded people fall is a great time to check any appliances you may need during a winter freeze. He said it's better to find out if a homeowner's heating and cooling system isn't working now, rather than waiting until it's needed most. "It's better to do it on a day like today than when it's, ya know, freezing out and then you're furnace goes down and you'll be on the list of many to get it fixed." He encouraged people to take advantage of the warmer days when we get them.

Lastly, Driskill mentioned the home in our story did pass his inspection. Cornerstone Properties is based out of Republic and can be contacted at (417) 209-4321.