Ice dams causing major damage to homes as snow melts and refreezes

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Meriden

WEST HARTFORD– All the snow we’ve been having has really piled on the problems in Connecticut, and it’s not just where to put all the snow. Despite freezing temperatures, snow is actually melting and it’s happening on roofs.

JP Kiernan of West Hartford roof rakes to minimize ice dams.  He said it hasn't been working well for him.

JP Kiernan of West Hartford roof rakes to minimize ice dams. He said it hasn’t been working well for him.

The melt is refreezing on the edges and gutters creating ice dams. Those dams can cause leaks inside homes.  According to the Ice Dam Company,  roof ice and ice dams result from the escape of heat into the attic or roof space, with factors such as ventilation, insulation, solar orientation, tree coverage, home architecture, snow cover, and home owner lifestyle contributing to the severity of the dams.

Roof raking can help prevent ice damming, but many homeowners are having a tough time staying ahead of the snowfalls.

Courtesy of the Ice Dam Company

Courtesy of the Ice Dam Company

“I got up and got some of the ice off the corner where the downspout is, but it’s already damming up again,” JP Kiernan of West Hartford said.

To help prevent ice dams, it’s a good idea to clear at least four to five feet along the edge of the roof, and to do the work from the ground with a roof rake.

The roof specialists at the Ice Dam Company recommend against the “hack-a-teer” approach, which uses hammers, picks, hatchets, and the like, as well as salt socks, which many use to melt the ice on their porches.