Paul Paszkiewicz made the most of his snow day Monday — the Mohonasen Central School District bus driver used the free time to clear about 18 inches of snow off the roof of his Rotterdam home.
He also cleared piles of snow off his garage, greenhouse and shed.
“I do it usually when it gets to the point where the weather’s going to be real cold for a long period of time, and you have a buildup of snow on the roof,” said Paszkiewicz, who used an extendable roof rake for the task.
With the third major snowstorm in two weeks hitting the Northeast Monday and forcing schools across the Capital Region to close, Paszkiewicz hoped to avoid having that buildup turn to ice. The ice forms a dam at the edge of his roof, causing water to move up — instead of down — when the snow melts.
“And then you get leaks,” he said.
As the snow accumulates, roof rakes, which extend to 16 feet, are a hot item at Phillips Hardware on Upper Union Street, store manager Sheldon Lipson said.
“A lot of people will also buy roof ice-melt, which we sell by the bucket,” he said. “We actually sold out of that last weekend in all our stores.”
His store sells a particular brand of the ice-melting product, Ice B’Gone Magic, that doesn’t cause harm to pets if ingested, he said.
“Apparently it’s very important to the people in this area, so that actually sells extremely well,” he said.
By keeping snow from piling up on roofs, people are doing more than preventing leaks and collapses, Lipson said. They’re also keeping snow and ice out of their roof gutters, which can break from the weight of the snow and ice, he said, and protecting the shingles and flashing.
“You’re basically saving the roof, because all of that snow is very, very heavy, and that will turn into ice,” he said.
Roof rakes are also selling fast at Burnt Hills Hardware on Kingsley Road, owner Tim Bachand said. “They’re selling out, and we’re restocking them.”
And over the weekend, as people prepared for the latest storm, the store sold out of “melt pellets,” calcium-chloride tablets that “burn through the ice and help the water drain off the roof,” he said.
“With this much snow on people’s roofs, it’s pretty important that they get it off there if they start seeing the icicles forming,” he said.
Paszkiewicz, however, who has lived on Helderberg Avenue for 28 years, said he doesn’t use any products to melt the ice on his roof. Once he clears the snow and ice off the edge — about 3 feet up — the heat from the sun does it for him, he said. With the ice and snow cleared, the melting snow can safely drip off the roof without creating an ice dam, he said.
“I just snow-rake the edges of the roof and the sun takes care of it,” he said.
Since July 2014, 61.1 inches of snow have been recorded at Albany International Airport. Last year at this time, 48 inches had been recorded at the airport, the weather service said.
Reach Gazette reporter Ned Campbell at 395-3134, [email protected] or @nedcampbell on Twitter.
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Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County