Protect your home and deal with ice dams

Protect your home and deal with ice dams – The Daily News Online: Lifestyles.

Long icicles hanging from your gutters are a warning sign of possible ice dams on your roof which could lead to major damage to your home. If you see a buildup of ice and an accumulation of icicles, you need to have a roofing contractor or gutter cleaning company come out and check it out. If left unattended, it can be quite expensive to fix.

Consumer ratings service Angie’s List recently talked to roofing and gutter specialists for their advice on protecting your property from these tapering, jagged shards.

Angie’s List offers 7 dos and don’tsfor dealing with ice damming:

1. Call a professional: Removing an ice dam can be quite dangerous. A good place to start is with a reputable roofing contractor. Check Angie’s List and get estimates and references from contractors in your area. Gutter cleaning companies may also offer this service.

2. Remove snow from the roof: If you’re tackling the job yourself, there is a special tool for removing snow called a “roof rake”. Carefully pull it down the slope of the roofline. Never pull snow across the roof. You could damage the shingles.

3. Chip away at the ice: For immediate action, you can chip away through the ice dam so the water can flow through. Stop when you get close to the roofing.

4. Properly ventilate and insulate the attic: The main cause of ice dams is an overly warm attic.

5. Never walk on a snow-covered roof: Make sure you work from a ladder to access/fix the damage.

6. Do not install mechanical equipment or water heaters in attics: These are a fire hazard. Stick to insulation to help keep heat in your home.

7. Do not use salt or calcium chloride to melt snow off the roof: These chemicals are very corrosive. The runoff of these chemicals can also damage grass and plants.


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