Snow Stacking Up on Roofs in Westchester

“This weight alone, these gutters being full of snow and ice will rip them right off,” roofer explains

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Roofers worked into the night removing the layers of snow and ice that have stacked up on the roofs of New Jersey homes. (Published Thursday, Feb 17, 2011)

    The snow that has been piling up on the ground has also been piling up on top of buildings and homes and now residents and roofers alike fear the build-up could cause roofs tp collapse.

    “This weight alone, these gutters being full of snow and ice will rip them right off,” said roofer Doug Malen.  “There could be hundreds of pounds of ice sitting in these gutters and certainly customers with children or pets, this can be a precarious and dangerous situation.”

    Malen and other roofers at Werkheiser Roofing in Mamaroneck have been flooded with calls from people concerned about the inches and sometimes feet of snow that have gathered on top of their homes.

    “We tried to get rid of it ourselves,” said Larchmont homeowner Debbie Harwin. “We were hanging out of our windows holding roof rakes.  Didn’t get very far, so we called the professionals.”

    Roofing company owner Warren Werkheiser said the problem is not just the weight of the snow, but the water damage that can happen as melted snow and ice seep under the shingles of the roof.

    “The thickness of the ice in the front of the roof is causing major problems, said Werkheiser.  “Ceiling collapses, roof collapses.”

    Using extended ladders, workers climb on top of roofs to first remove the snow and then crack the layers of ice beneath the snow. 

    The Harwin family did not want to take any chances with their home, built in the 1920s, as more bad weather is expected to roll into the area.

    “It just looked so heavy and it was weighing down the gutters and we just figured we should take care of this before the next storm.”

    The problem has become so pervasive in Westchester County that a quick round of phone calls to area hardware stores showed that roof rakes were in high demand.  Some stores had even run out of it, along with shovels and snow blowers.