Take Steps to Prevent Damage from Ice Dams
If you live in New England, it’s likely there are ice dams on your roof from the recent snowstorms. Ice dams can be very destructive because water from melting snow can back up behind the dam and leak into your home underneath the shingles.
There are two basic approaches to dealing with ice dams:
1. Hire a professional. This is the safest way to remove snow and ice from your roof.
However, if you wish to tackle the problem yourself, follow these recommendations from roofing experts:
- Use a roof rake to remove snow buildup on the roof
- Try not to damage your shingles
- Avoid standing under icicles or roofs with large amounts of snow
- Use extreme caution when using ladders because rungs become very slippery with snow and ice on them
- Don’t use a roof rake near electrical wires
- Have someone nearby check on you in case you need assistance or are injured
2. Create channels in the ice dams.
- If you notice an ice buildup, fill a large sock with a melting agent (preferably calcium chloride) and lay it across the dam perpendicular to the gutter
- The sock will release the melting agent gradually and create a channel in the ice for water to empty through
- You may need several socks for an ice dam that runs the length of your roof
Does my house have ice dams?
Look for these warning signs:
- Large icicles hanging from gutters
- Water dripping from the roof overhang
- Leaks, stains or damaged ceilings or walls inside your home
What if water is dripping inside my home?
If you notice leaks in your home, it’s important to do what you can to mitigate the damage:
- Collect the dripping water in buckets and pans
- Mop up standing water
- Move furniture, clothes and valuables out of harm’s way
- Call a professional to deal with the snow on the roof and to dry out your house
Please remember to use extreme caution and consult a professional before attempting any dangerous home repairs yourself. Feel free to share this information with friends and family if you have found it valuable.
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How to protect your above ground pool from collapse due to the weight of ice and snow (which is not covered under the Homeowners Policy).
Particularly snowy winters can wreak havoc on above ground pools, which are designed to withstand the weight of water in the summer but are more vulnerable to the pressure of heavy snow and ice in the winter. Also, melting snow in the spring can turn to ice and expand, potentially damaging the pool, especially the cover.
It’s therefore essential to keep a close eye on your above ground pool and regularly clear the snow off its cover so it’s never entirely buried under the snow.
IS YOUR POOL BURIED?
It’s important to clear off your pool before it collapses under the weight of snow. The following tips will spare your pool a lot of punishment and allow it to make it to spring in one piece!
- Stay outside the pool when removing snow. If you try to work from inside the pool, the snow or ice could give way under your weight. This may damage the pool cover—and result in you being injured.
- Careful with the pool rim. Use a plastic shovel so as not to scratch the edges of the pool. Also avoid walking on the coping to clear snow from the rim of the pool as this could weaken or crush the pool structure.
- Don’t forget the skimmer drain. You should remove snow from inside and on top of the drain to keep it from cracking.
- Hire a professional, if you need to. By calling on a pool professional, you’ll be sure the work is done right and safely—both for your sake and your pool!