Icicles and ice dams wreak havoc on homes as snow melts

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ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Icicles are the sign of winter and can also be a sign of damage. Crews upstate have been working non-stop since mid-November as calls rushed in for ice dams building in gutters.  

As snowpack continues to build, poor roof insulation can melt snow that flows into gutters and freezes. Poor roof ventilation, no overhang, and a flat roof can all lead to ice dams. Colonial-style homes are especially vulnerable to ice buildup. See damage from an ice dam in Fairport that forced built-up water into the roof and sprouted a leak inside:

“The snow on the roof melts, it trickles down into the gutter and starts to form ice,” said Peter Pfaff, sales manager for Graves Brothers Home Improvement. Blocks of ice can form and damage gutters as the weight increases. Pfaff says there is a layer of water underneath the ice that can creep up the roof and eventually leak into your home. 

One of the best preventative measures is to shovel your roof. There is equipment that you can find at your local hardware store to do this safely. Also, Calcium chloride placed in a large sock on an ice dam can help break apart the ice.

Allstate Roofing has been fielding calls from homeowners and businesses with ice problems. The company designs, constructs, and helps fix roofs as well as works with gutters, among other construction work. Walter Shkavritko is CEO and owner of Allstate Roofing and says ice can wreak havoc on a home. 

“It compromises your roofing system, it compromises your insulation, your drywall, in between your walls,” said Shkavritko. He mentioned that raking your roof can drastically reduce the ice dams formation if done properly. Calcium chloride can help melt the ice.

If you already have damage, it is important to file a claim. “That’s where it can freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, until you’re compromising your roofing system, that would be a case where you would want to talk to your insurance company.” 

Another preventative option would be to install heating cables along your roof that can be bought at most hardware stores. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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