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Ice Dam Temporary Cure

Weltman Home Services on behalf of This Old House

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 • 1:30pm

Quick Ice Dam Cure

With all of the snow that has been hitting us and our homes this winter you might be experiencing the damaging effects of ice dams. The gutters clog up with ice, then water runoff from the roof gets trapped by the dam and eventually backs up the roof, travels under the shingles, and leaks into the house. While a permanent fix for ice dams usually requires increasing the insulation, sealing, and ventilation in the attic, our trusted friends at This Old House suggests a simple way to diminish the damage after the dam has formed. Fill the leg of discarded pair of panty hose with a calcium chloride ice melter. Lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and overhangs the gutter. If necessary, use a long-handled garden rake or hoe to push it into position. The calcium chloride will eventually melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof.

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