(NECN: Brian Burnell, West Haven, Conn.) - The owner of a West Haven, Conn. home says he woke up at about 3 a.m. to a noise that he thought was a prowler. It turned out to be his garage roof, collapsing under the weight of snow and ice. Fortunately there was not a car in the garage.
But this and other collapses across the state are driving the sale of roof rakes to pull the snow down.
Steve Hoffman owns Wethersfield True Value Hardware. "The supply seems to be pretty good now. The demand has picked up a lot in the last three or four days," said Hoffman.
Even if you think there is not enough snow on your roof to be concerned about there is another danger. Ice dams that clog the gutters. Those are driving people onto their roofs armed with shovels and hammers.
Dan Calef of Calef Quality Services has cleared a dozen or so in the past two days. He says when dams aren’t cleared, “the water is just going to work it's way under the ice dam. It has nowhere to go. There's a little bit of meltage under the ice dam so it will work it's way under there and behind the gutter and it will re-freeze under your shingles and work it's way in."
That can lead to damage to interior walls and ceilings. But you don't necessarily have to get on the roof to solve the problem. There are products designed to melt ice dams.
Wethersfield True Value Hardware sells something called Roof Melt. “The roof melt is a capsule. It looks like a hockey puck. It's made out of calcium. It's safe for the roof. If you put regular salt on shingles and stuff it would eat away on it," said Hoffman.
And with the hockey puck shape you just toss them up.
Conn. Governor Dannell Malloy is asking neighbors to help neighbors. He says if you have an elderly person living next door stop by. See if you can help them by clearing their roof for them.