By CBSNewYork Team

RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Prepare now or pay later.

Ice melt is a hot item as homeowners get ready. Roofing companies say it’s equally important for people to look up, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.

Crews with Deegan Roofing feverishly hammered away at gutters and roofs Monday, helping panicked homeowners break apart ice dams ahead of a massive ice storm.

“That’s pretty much why we are out here. We want to remove the snow and ice as much as possible so we don’t allow that water to get inside,” Jun Deegan said.

MORE: CHECK THE LATEST FORECAST

With freezing rain expected overnight, crews say clearing your gutters of existing icy obstructions is critical so melting water in the coming days has somewhere to flow other than into your house.

It’s an expensive mistake homeowner Joe Ruzek now knows all about.

“It started slowly, but after 10, 15 minutes, it started coming down quick. So we actually put some duct tape to stop it a little bit. It was dripping into the buckets,” said Ruzek, of Scotch Plains.

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The impending ice storm is also expected to snap tree limbs, trigger power outages, and create slippery road conditions.

“I came to buy the salt to melt the ice,” said Maria Mattessich of Palisades Park.

MORE: Sign Up To Work For NYC To Remove Snow

At Boulevard Hardware and Supply Company, CBS2 found Mattessich looking for calcium chloride to pre-treat her driveway.

Store manager Peter Murad said there has been so much snowfall this winter, he is sold out of snow blowers, generators, and is running low on other supplies.

“Another thing that happens when the temperature gets really cold is sometimes the pipes freeze, so we sell a lot of electric heaters,” Murad said.

MORE: Winter Storm Survival Guide

Experts say in preparation of the storm, families should also stock up on batteries, charge their phones, and prepare an emergency supply kit.

Ice damming can cause water to seep into insulations, ceilings, and walls, causing mold and mildew. Experts say icicles hanging from you roof can signal that one is forming.

CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report

CBSNewYork Team