Illinois Snow Storms

Experts Offer Tips on Dealing With Ice Jams, Automotive Issues as Winter Storms Approach

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Chicago-area residents are still digging out from a serious snowfall over the weekend, so with more snow potentially bearing down on the region, preventative measures are a must.

Many homeowners are working to clear ice dams that have formed on the top of their residences, something that technician Jake Kahnke from Ice Dam Guys is all too familiar with, as many homes are dealing with the issue.

“Removing the excess snow, clearing the ice, and each house is kind of different,” he said.

Ice dams, ridges of ice that form along the edges of a roof, can prevent melting snow from draining off of a roof. With nowhere for the water to go, it can leak into attics and even into living spaces.

Ice dams can also form around skylights, vents and areas where two inclined sides of a roof meet, according to the Ice Dam Guys.

Typically, ice dams can be cleared using steam or other tactics, and the Ice Dam Guys have an exhaustive list of principles for homeowners and business owners to adhere to when it comes to safe ice dam removal.

Things can also get hairy when it comes to ground-based property, including cars, as mechanics say that wintry weather can cause serious automotive issues.

“The cold weather, the snow, the salt, everything like that brings out all the problems,” Matt Tefka, owner of the Fulton Des Plaines Garage, said. “We see lots of batteries, lots of tires, and lots of things that were rusted tend to break in the cold too.”

Motorists are reminded to keep a bundle of cold-weather gear, including food, blankets, warm clothing, flashlights and a glass scraper, in their vehicle during cold weather, according to AAA.

The organization also reminds motorists to keep at least a half-tank worth of fuel in the vehicle to prevent fuel lines from suffering damage, and to ensure that tires are properly inflated, with plenty of tread to aid with traction on slippery roads.

The coming snowfall is expected to generate 6-to-12 inches of accumulation in the heaviest-hit locations, with a second round of snow potentially bringing 3-to-6 more inches of accumulation by the time the system leaves the area on Thursday.

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