A major snowstorm is sweeping across the country, paralyzing drivers and other travelers with heavy snow and dangerously slick roads. But once you make it home, your problems may not be over.
"When the snow and ice move out, it's crucial that you inspect your home," says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, the national consumer reviews service. "If you have long icicles hanging from your gutters, that's a warning sign of possible ice dams on your roof."
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof.
"Don't ignore the problem," Hicks said. "If you see a buildup of ice, get it checked out. If you don't address the issue, you could cause more damage and you'll have to pay more to fix the problem."
Angie's List offers these 7 DOS and DON'TS for dealing with ice dams:
You shouldn't just look up after a snowstorm. It's also important to inspect your basement. Melting snow and ice can cause flooding.
"Even a small amount of water can do some costly damage, so it's important to check your basement after each snowfall," Hicks said.
Follow this advice to help keep water out of your basement:
Before you do these inspections, you have to make it home. Angie's List also has tips on how to avoid getting ripped off by tow truck drivers when you're stuck in the snow.