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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 10, 2014) — Warmer temperatures Friday and through the weekend not only increase the risk of flooding in central Indiana, but raise the risk of ice damming and home damage as well.

David Gorsage with Michaelis Corporation in Indianapolis told FOX59 News that ice damming, which results in water forcing its way underneath roof shingles and expanding when it refreezes at night, can represent significant damage both outside and inside a person’s home.

“When we have any type of water damage you’re starting – starting! – at about $5,000,” Gorsage said.  “Now that you’re talking about involving wall cavities, you’re involving the ceiling cavity, you’re involving the insulation, now you’re starting to get into the $10-15,000 type of damage.”

Not all ice damming can be prevented, Gorsage said, but there are some steps homeowners can take to limit the risk.

First, a homeowner can take road salt and fill up an old sock or stocking.  Placing that salt sock in or on the gutter right near the downspout can help melt the ice inside the gutters quicker, helping prevent ice damming.  Removing icicles from the roof and gutters can also help with that.

A second step involves removing the snow around the bottom of the downspout, allowing the water to freely flow away from the house instead of getting backed up.

Gorsage said with flooding an additional concern over the coming days, clearing the snow away from windows and vents near a home’s crawl space or basement can reduce the chance of water being able to infiltrate those areas.