Snow mania: Ice damns, snow inside my window casing...
February 9, 2015 6:49 AM   Subscribe

I am currently in the Boston area experiencing snow mania 2015 where we have received an obscene amount of snow lately. I am a new homeowner and this is our first winter in the house so thank you in advance for your advice! There are a number of ice damns on my roof (likely because we have a cape-style house with poor ventilation). We're planning to have someone look into what we can do to improve ventilation/etc after the winter, but in the meantime do you have any advice on what to do about the ice damns?

We bought a roof shovel but apparently didn't pull off enough of the snow (can't reach it all either). Sounds like calling someone to professionally 'steam' the damns will be very expensive but we do have a small leak coming from the ceiling of one of the windows upstairs so I am concerned we might be causing damage in the meantime.

We also have double hung Harvey windows, the screens are down and snow is collecting in between the screen and the window, should we try to unfreeze the levers (tried putting them up and they were stuck pretty well - we have a heat gun we could put on low) and put up the screens?

Ah, home ownership - who knew it could be so sweet? (!) Thank you for your help!
posted by Carialle to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:11 AM on February 9, 2015

As a preventative measure (doesn't work so well after the dams are formed), you can fill socks or pantyhose with rock salt and throw it up on your roof to melt the snow/ice.
posted by xingcat at 7:18 AM on February 9, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you for those responses. My concern was given I have a leak that appears to be caused by an ice damn do you think I need to call someone to steam the ice damn off or can I try and address the problem before next winter and not be causing serious damage? Also, any thoughts on the screens for the windows.
posted by Carialle at 8:51 AM on February 9, 2015

Yes, I would call someone given the forecast of more snow. A small leak for a day or two won't really hurt anything but this could last a while, it sounds like.
posted by fshgrl at 1:07 PM on February 9, 2015

Best answer: Once you have a leak you need to deal with the ice dam, because that leak won't stop leaking until March unless you get rid of the ice dam. The potential damage to your roof is less than the potential damage inside the house. Ask around for a pro. I'm sure these guys are charging premium prices so get several quoted.
posted by littlewater at 4:35 PM on February 9, 2015

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