Icicles this time of year are pretty, but if you have them on your roof, they could be a sign of a problem that's causing thousands and maybe tens of thousands of dollars in damage...but you can take some precautions to make sure you won't suffer roof damage this spring.

Big snowstorms and freezing temperatures over the past few weeks here in southwest Idaho have caused problems for roofs, eves and gutter in homes that don’t have proper insulation.

Check your roof…if after the big snowstorm we recently received, you have no snow on your roof and a bunch of icicles hanging from your eves, you probably are at risk for developing ice dams on your roof.

As we warm and the snow melts the water then flows down the roof until it reaches the gutter, which because it's colder than your roof is still frozen, forming a dam of ice along the gutter.  As the snow melts it forms a reservoir of water that has no place to go and eventually can get under your shingles and leak into your home. Any of these can cause thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your roof or shingles.

It’s best to prevent ice dams before snow and cold weather hit, but at this point there are still things you can do to limit the damage that can be caused by an ice dam on your roof

A roof rake can remove snow from your roof which will prevent an ice dam from building up. It’s not permanent, but a fairly easy quick fix is melting drainage areas into the ice dams so that water can drain from your roof. (Watch the video to see how to do this)

By the way, I have a friend who runs a roofing company and he doesn't recommend using a hammer to chip off ice that has already formed. Doing that can permanently damage the roof and require even more expensive repairs.