It’s that wonderul time of the year again….Winter in New England! With all the recent snow activity happening in Connecticut, snow has been accumulating on roofs causing the dreaded ICE DAMS. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation. If left untreated, homeowners will end up with water spots and mold on the ceiling and walls. NEVER….never use high-pressure water, hammers and chisels to remove the ice. These instruments will cause more damage by opeing more holes for moisture to leak through. WHAT YOU SHOULD DO….Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A “roof rake” and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials. In the event that water is flowing into the house, you can make channels through the ice dam which allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. If you are unable to do this yourself, it is best to call a professional to clear the ice and snow from the roof, gutters, and downspouts. Do not attempt to go on the roof . Not only do you put yourself at risk of slipping and falling, bu you could also cause extensive damage to the roof. FOR FUTURE REFERENCE…First, make the ceiling air tight so no warm, moist air can flow from the house into the attic space. After sealing air leakage paths between the house and attic space, consider increasing the ceiling/roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction. Clean leaves and debris from gutters each fall, and during the winter season remove the snow regularly from the roof with a roof snow scraper.