When the heavy snow starts to melt and icicles hang from your gutters, be aware of potential “ice dam” problems.
The consumer affairs advisers at Angie’s List responded to the snowstorm with quick advice about protecting houses against ice backing up under roof tiles.
It’s safest to call reputable roofing contractors or gutter cleaning companies, but if you do try to remove ice backups yourself, tips include:
• Use a specific roof rake tool designed to pull snow off the roof, pulling down and not across the shingles.
• Chip away at ice buildup, but don’t chip into the roofing.
• Work from a ladder. Don’t try to walk on the roof.
• Don’t throw salt or other chemicals on the roof. Corrosive materials can damage the house, as well as plants and grass in the runoff.
Advice to protect from ice dams in the future includes ventilating and adequately insulating your attic. Authorities say warm attics lead to ice dams.
In related advice, the consumer service advises you to make sure the base of your downspouts are clear so that the snow melt and ice melt can flow out. Move piles of snow away from downspouts.
Homeowners also might want to shovel out basement window wells and outside basement stairwells to keep melting snow from seeping into the basement.
It’s a good time, too, to test sump pumps, the report said.
| Diane Stafford, firstname.lastname@example.org