Warmer weather

Warmer weather brings new problems to homeowners, motorists

While winter weather will linger for the next week or so, the end is in sight as the days get longer and temperatures rise. The thaw, however, is also fraught with peril. Now the problems are ice dams on roofs that force water into homes, flooding, car damage and broken water pipes. And then there are the potholes even chasms in roadways. The first signs of change came Tuesday, as the 33 day streak of consecutive days below freezing ended. The mercury crested above 32 degrees for about 14 hours. But the melting did little more than create large puddles in parking lots and on some roads. By late next week, the warm-up could last for days, with temperatures pushing 50 degrees. That will speed up the thaw – and the need for homeowners and public officials alike to manage it quickly.

Residents are fighting to remove ice and snow from roofs to prevent melted water from getting trapped behind it, backing up under the shingles and inside their homes. “Whoever it is that fixes this type of issue is going to be quite busy,” Ingrassia said. Count Nick Liolos among them. The owner of North Tonawanda based GutterKing is preparing for a lot of work in coming weeks. “You’re going to see even more trouble as it warms up,” Liolos said. “We’re going to get swamped.”

Because there was not a mid-winter thaw or two to allow snow and ice to melt and run off, the amount on many roofs has expanded over two months. The slow melting of snow on roofs as heat escapes and the sun pounds down creates ice dams in gutters. When the water reverses course and backs up under shingles, that’s when real damage hits. As of Wednesday, 21 inches of snowpack remained on the ground at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Around the region, snowpacks are holding the equivalent of from 2 to 4 inches of water, according to the National Weather Service.

Average Monthly Temperature

Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
43 degrees 34 degrees 24 degrees 19 degrees 19 degrees

There are things you can do now to prepare: • Move snow away from the foundation of your home. • Have a backup sump pump. • Be aware of what your homeowner’s policy covers.

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