Protect your home during Chicago`s unrelenting winter - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Protect your home during Chicago`s unrelenting winter

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

When you walk outside and get slapped with that brutal wind chill, you'll be wishing for those warmer temps we had over the weekend.

But the rise in the thermometer, along with the recent sunshine we've had, is melting snow on roofs and causing trouble. The snow piling on your roof and gigantic icicles hanging off your and gutters are creating ice dams, which can be detrimental to your home's draining process in the future.

If you have ice dams building up on your home, you might want to buy a roof rake. They run anywhere from $32-47 on average, depending on whether you need a tool that is 16 ft. or 31 ft.

The rakes help homeowners take the snow off their roofs and gutters before it has the chance to melt and create an ice dam. But please take extreme care clearing the snow at that height – it will be very slippery up there.

Other tips to clear ice dams include filling a nylon sock with sodium chloride (salt pellets) and sticking it in the gutter to clear out the ice, clearing your patio or downspouts to allow for proper drainage and making sure your sump pump is working well to pump out the water before it freezes in your pipes. You can try mopping up the shingles and drying them out with fans to prevent mold. Again, please take extreme care working at that height.

If you cannot do the work yourself, it might also be a great idea to hire a local snow and ice clearing company to protect your home from ice dams and the rest of the damage that comes with harsh winter weather.

It's also a good idea to check with your insurance company to find out what types of winter home damage are covered and what types are not. More often than not, damage caused by the weather is covered, but coverage varies by policy and insurance provider.

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