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posted: 1/15/2010 12:01 AM

Thaw could bring icy mess

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  • Breaking icicles can reduce the weight on gutters but ice damming will still occur.

       Breaking icicles can reduce the weight on gutters but ice damming will still occur.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer


Warmer temperatures may bring a respite from winter for many, but they could also bring a headache to homeowners in the form of ice dams.

Through early next week, high temperatures are expected to reach up to 40 degrees with most days being partly sunny.

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Higher temperatures and more sunlight will melt snow and could result in water seeping into the home if the roof cannot drain normally due to ice buildup.

According to a report on the National Ag Safety Database at, these ice dams form when a snow-covered roof above the attic is warmer than the area that overhangs the home - the eaves. Melting snow from the warmer part of the roof runs down and freezes at the edge of the roof, forming a barrier that prevents further melt from draining properly.

The best way to prevent ice dams, the report notes, is to make sure attics are sufficiently insulated and properly ventilated.

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