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Damn those Ice Dams!

February 3, 2011
Cindy Donaldson Director of Marketing & Sales

Cindy Donaldson
Director of Marketing & Sales

Well if you live in the northeast then I’m sure you are with me. Ice dams are a serious problem that cause a lot of insurance claims.

For those of you experiencing your first winter in Connecticut – let me fill you in on what an ice dam is: The gutters clog up with ice which creates a dam. When the water starts to run off from the roof it gets caught in that dam. When that happens the water will slip under the shingles and down into your house. Just ask my sister – I saw on Facebook this morning that she had water running into her dining room. Ergo – Damn those Ice Dams!

So what’s a homeowner to do?

Permanent fix: You should increase the insulation, sealing and ventilation in your attic.

What if you already have an ice dam? While searching on the internet for some “old farmer’s cures” I ran across a great one from This Old House website. (

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 if you are lucky enough to have  a roof 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.

( Picture illustrated by Narda Lebo, copy on the cure by Roy Barnhart courtesy of

I love when you can reuse and recycle and heck if it is a cure for the ice damn, even better!

From Arctic Connecticut

Cindy Donaldson


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