Common problem: ice dams—How to prevent, spot an issue and repair before costly damages

Being next to a Great Lake, the Rochester NY area often experiences intense winter weather. Perhaps you’ve passed through a local neighborhood and seen dozens of rooftops caked with snow, long and pointy icicles hanging from the edge.

If left be for too long, these sticks of ice can tear up a roof like a kid’s hand into wrapping paper. Next thing you know, you’re looking at discolored walls, headroom-blocking ceilings, and dirt-ridden floors.

There are a couple things you can do to stop icicles before they begin. One of them is to surround the perimeter of your roof with a heated cable, which brings heat into the home from outdoors. It’s a handy alternative to the old-fashioned method of trying to eliminate cold from the inside out.

It might also help to blow water away from the ceiling with a box fan. This can dry the water within a few short minutes, which keeps the roof from deteriorating. An alternative strategy is to remove snow from the roof with a long-handled aluminum roof rake.

Do this, and you’ll easily loosen up sticky, compact snow. Plus, the gentle wheels will create cozying friction without breaking the surface of the roof.