YIKES! What a Winter!

This Season has been Challenging, to say the LeastSnowy Walkway


Our crew has been putting in some LONG days over the past several weeks what with all the record-breaking inclement weather we've all been experiencing here in New England.


Freezing temperatures are breaking pipes and pushing heating systems to their limits. Heavy snow and ice is collapsing roofs and causing dangerous ice dams in gutters.


In our last newsletter, we offered some tips on what to do if a pipe bursts in your home or business. This time we will help you deal with all the snow on your roof.


How to Prevent Ice Dams 


Ice DamGet snow off the roof before it can cause ice damage.
Ice dams typically form when snow on the roof starts to melt due to heat escaping from inside the home. The melted water runs down the roof, refreezes and clogs up gutters. As more snow melts, because the gutters are blocked, the water is forced to travel under the shingles and leak into the house.

Add insulation to attic floors.
A well-insulated attic and a ventilated roof will prevent heat from escaping, which will protect the roof from conditions that cause ice dams.

Clean your gutters bi-annually.
Blocked gutters and downspouts cause ice dams as well as rot and other water-based damage to your home. Before the first snow falls, clean your gutters to remove all debris.

Keep gutters and drains free of ice and snow.
During winter months, make sure your downspouts run clear at ground level. Often times snow and ice will block the ends causing water to back up inside and freeze.

Use pantyhose for a fast fix.
This Old House suggests filling the leg of a pair of pantyhose with ice melter. Put the hose onto the roof so it overhangs the gutter. The calcium chloride will melt through the snow and ice and free up a channel for water to flow down into the gutters and off the roof. This may look silly, but it just might prevent a costly disaster. 


Above & Beyond the Call of Duty? 

Jim was almost to a customer's home in Massachusetts when ice on a steep hill caused the wheels on his truck to spin. Luckily, a neighbor with a four wheel drive jeep came by and pushed him up. When he got to the house, he found the driveway was not navigable either. So he got out a shovel and cleared a path. He even had to shovel a walkway and the porch to get to the front door.


Once inside the home Jim found water coming down the walls and onto the floors caused by large ice dams on the back roof. Flooded Basement


Out again he went, with shovel in hand to dig another path so he could clear some of the ice and snow from the roof. He did what he could, but it was 22 degrees out and the ice just too tough to handle alone with the tools at hand.


Back inside, he began opening up walls and ceilings to remove wet frozen insulation. Other Paradise crew members then arrived and together they cleaned up the water, pulled up wet wall to wall carpet and set up heavy duty dryers and dehumidifiers.


The next day, with more help and equipment, they cleared the rest of the ice on the roof.

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Mom and kids

Creating Healthy Homes for Your Family Since 1973

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Q: What can we do if ice dams have already formed in our gutters?

A: Once snow buildup occurs or ice dams form, using a roof rake is your best do-it-yourself option Snow rakes have an extended handle, which enables you to pull snow off the roof from the safety of the ground.

Roof Rake

To remove snow and ice, start from the edge and work your way into the roof using down-ward strokes. Try to  scrape the snow along the bottom of the roof, shaving two or three inches off. There's no need to scrape the roof entirely clean, as this will risk damage to your roof shingles or other roof covering.


Metal snow rakes conduct electricity if they come into contact with a power line, so be careful. Also, avoid using a ladder; the ladder's rungs can freeze and cause you to slip. Instead of the ladder, buy extension poles or a longer rake to reach higher portions of the roof. 


Ice Dam



Watch This Video

 showing the

 use of a

snow rake here.


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