As ice buildup thaws, area roofs begin leaking

MERCER COUNTY – Slews of homeowners are finding the recent winter thaw is bringing roofs that leak like a spring downpour.

A combination of lots of snow, sub-arctic temperatures and an occasional mid-winter thaw is blamed for this outbreak. Mother Nature has shown no mercy in meting out who gets punished.

Calvert Lumber Co.’s roof leaked so bad owner Jerry Calvert had to take extreme action at the Sharon business.

“We had to place big, plastic garbage containers on our showroom floor to catch the water,’’ Calvert lamented. “That’s how bad it got.’’

In examining the roof, Calvert could easily see it was smothered in snow and ice. As temperatures rose a little valley where two parts of the roof connect became filled with water. Since ice was clogging much of the roof and gutters, the water found its way through the showroom ceiling.

Desperate to find a fix, employees resorted to hurling blocks of salt on the roof to loosen up the ice jam. Sending a worker to climb atop the roof was way too dangerous, he relates. Instead, a forklift fitted with a pallet was used to lift up a worker next to the roof to remove chunks of snow and ice from a safe distance.

“The salt ate its way through the ice and we were finally able to get the ice broken off the roof,’’ he said. “If I was a contractor I wouldn’t want to be on that roof.’’

Calvert isn’t alone.

“We’ve been swamped with calls about this,’’ said Ted Koppel, president of First General Services, a Farrell contracting business.

Read more at: