Ice and snow, water backup due to temperature variance, ice dams may form along roof edges, inside eaves troughs, up roof valleys and surrounding roof drains on flat decked roofs. This situation may be accentuated in houses with poor insulation.
As snow begins to melt, water may seep under the shingles on sloped roofs or under the cant strip edges on flat roofs. Water will then flow inside the house or building. If the temperature drops, the water on the roof will freeze, and the flow into the building will temporarily stop. However, when thawing occurs, water will again back up and leak inside.
This may cause water to enter different rooms, on different days, until the ice dam completely melts.
To help prevent this, rock salt or calcium chloride CAN be used along the roof edges, valleys and roof drains to help melt the dam.
It is not recommended to remove eaves troughs or shoveling the roof as such action is dangerous and can cause more damage.
If water enters through a light fixture, turn the light’s power off by removing the fuse or turning off the breaker switch.
If water enters from the ceiling, create a small hole with a screwdriver to allow water to drain. This prevents the water from spreading and threatening the entire ceiling. Use buckets to control the draining water.
Collapse small metal utility sheds and aluminum or canvas awnings are not designed to carry the weight associated with recent snowfalls. Where practical and safe, we recommend they be cleared.
Flat deck roofs can be shoveled, providing it is safe to do so.
If you leave the home or business for an extended period, you should arrange daily pipe inspections. If possible, you should drain the plumbing before leaving. This can be done by shutting off the main water supply valve and opening the taps at the lowest point in the house, such as the basement laundry room. Additionally, environmentally friendly antifreeze can be poured into toilets, sink drains, and dishwashers to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
If the drains below the ground freeze or sewers cannot handle all of the melting snow, sewer backups can occur. If you live in a high risk area, you can take preventative measures by taking loose carpets and furniture upstairs to avoid damage. Your furniture can be raised off the basement floor with blocks to prevent damage.