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Blog By: Perian Heffner, CIC

With apologies to playwright Eugene O’Neill, we’re talking about a different type of iceman than in his play. In fact our iceman falls into the same category as the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny. There is no Iceman, but there surely will be plenty of ice in the next couple of months that wants to cause harm to your home, but you can foil this villain with the tips that follow.

One type of ice shows up as frozen pipes. Hopefully, your home has good insulation in areas where pipes are near outside walls and any openings in those areas have been caulked. If not, subzero days can chill the pipes enough for water in the pipes to freeze. Water expands when it freezes and can burst pipes, causing water to run. The best defense if you have any concerns is to leave a trickle of water running on very cold days. Moving water doesn’t have time to get cold enough to freeze and it’s not wasting water if it prevents burst pipes.

Another destructive form of ice is the stuff that forms on the edges of your roof when snow melts, then refreezes. The ice dams that build up can cause water to back up under you shingles and sneak into your home.  A really bad case of this might show up as a ceiling collapse. Even a mild case results in stains on the ceilings. Keeping snow off the edges of your roof is the solution. Heat cables, a roof rake, or just an old fashioned snow shovel and some good exercise can prevent this (but if you fall of the roof, that’s a win for the Iceman, so be careful).

Speaking of falls, the Iceman likes to cause these just as much as he likes damaging your home. So he camps out on sidewalks, steps and driveways and waits for victims. Salt, sand, cat litter and a myriad of easy to find ice melting products all reduce the risk. Unfortunately, there are side effects that The Iceman delights in. Damage to concrete, lawns and the environment in general are the price society pays for fewer falls. The more you can reduce ice by clearing snow promptly, the fewer of these products you’ll end up using.
Posted 9:35 AM

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