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Maheu Insurance Blog Article


What Can I Do About All That Snow?

Posted by admin VIP    02/26/2013 09:44 AM

icicles2.jpgWell with winter in full swing here in New Hampshire the snow just keeps piling up. For many they couldn’t be happier with all the fresh stuff producing excellent conditions at the regions ski resorts though we must remember that this heavy snow can wreak havoc on homes with shallow pitched roofs.

Large amounts of ice and snow built up on a roof can cause obvious damage just by its sheer weight; however that is not the only problem that can arise. Ice dams are one of the main causes of damage to a roof structure during the winter months. Ice dams form when the upper portion of the roof is emitting enough heat to melt the snow. The water then runs down the roof to the eaves where it freezes. The ice builds up causing the water to pool and seep under the shingles.  This can cause headaches for the homeowner and extensive damage to the home in several ways including rotting the roof and rafters, mold forming inside the attic and walls, ruined insulation, walls ceilings and floors, peeling paint and even the danger of falling ice. Icicles on the eaves may look pretty but they could be a sign of considerable energy loss from inside the home.


There are several ways to try to reduce the occurrence of ice dams forming on your roof. The first and probably the most obvious is to remove as much of the built up snow on your roof as you can using a snow rake, especially on roofs with a shallow pitch. Another option is to use heat tape or heat wire just above the eaves to prevent ice from forming. But the most important factor and probably the most economical one is to make sure that your attic is properly insulated. There are several ways to do this so you should speak to a professional to receive the proper advice for your specific situation. It is believed that a cold attic is the best way to prevent ice dams though if you use your attic space than there are methods of keeping it warm while still preventing ice dams. The University of Minnesota has put together a very concise article on the formation of ice dams and how to treat them.


Remember to always be very careful when removing snow from your roof. If there is snow that needs to be removed that you are unable to reach using a snow rake, its best to hire someone who cleans roofs, just make sure that they have contractors insurance before they climb up there. It is very dangerous to be on a slippery snow covered roof. If you can do it from the ground make sure to use the right tools so you don’t damage your roof in the process. With that said go out and have fun and enjoy the New England winter.

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