Ice Jamming Up Gutters

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HAZLETON -- You've seen those long icicles hanging from the roofs of homes and businesses and ice dams along the rooftops. Unfortunately, gutter repair people say there's not much you can do about any of that right now. It's yet another reason that homeowners faced with the icy mess say they're looking forward to warmer weather.

Drive through the heights section of Hazleton, and you might notice a common sight: long, dangerous icicles everywhere.

"It'll melt quicker on this side the way the sun shines in the afternoon, so we get it really bad," said Barbara Pcolinsky, of Hazleton.

So bad outside Barbara Pcolinsky's home that the ice attaches to the tree in her yard. Her solution?

"My husband just knocks them down," said Pcolinsky.

It's just about all anyone can do about ice dams and icicles right now. Gutter contractor Don Flaim says the mess stems from temperatures swinging back and forth between the teens and the thirties.

"The temperatures on the underside of the roof becomes warm because the snow insulates it, and then it melts the lower layer of the snow, and the lower layer runs down and forms an ice dam," said Don Flaim, of F & L Gutter Systems.

But because the rooftops are so icy and the cold's not going away, Flaim says he can't risk putting his repairmen to work.

"When I send a man up on a roof that's not safe, I'm putting my whole situation at risk," said Flaim.

Flaim says if you pay to improve insulation and ventilation in your home or business, the ice dams and gutter problems can be avoided. But at this point this winter, he says all you can do is wait for the warm weather.

Barb Pcolinsky hopes it gets here soon.

"Let's pray we don't get any more of that snow. There's nothing else we can do," said Pcolinsky.

Flaim says because of the cold temperatures and icy roofs, business has been slow. But he says he expects a lot of calls for gutter repairs and cleaning this spring. Again, He says if you're having ice dam problems now, it's best just to leave it be.