Michigan Firm Works to Fight Ice Dam Damage

February 19, 2014

Workers at a small company in Belding, Mich., are working long hours in an effort to meet the demand of homeowners who want to keep ice dams from damaging their roofs.

KMI Inc.’s 65 employees manufacture patented 3-inch calcium chloride tablets called Roofmelt. They can be tossed on a roof to melt ice dams before water backups can seep into an attic or walls, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

“We just basically have the optimal conditions for ice dams right now,” KMI vice president Tom O’Malley said. He estimated that his company has shipped 12 million tablets to stores in the U.S. and Canada this winter.

And the ice dam situation could worsen with expected above-freezing temperatures across the Upper Midwest next week.

“As the snow on the roof starts to melt, the water is going to hit the ice dams and run horizontally across the roof,” Lew Stein, vice president of Modern Roofing Inc. of Grand Rapids, told the newspaper. “It goes inside because it cannot get off the roof.”

KMI owner Van Kassouni developed the Roofmelt tablets 12 years ago. The company produces the tablets from September through March, when it switches to making other products such as urinal tablets, O’Malley said.

Stein said ice dams are a symptom of other problems that should be addressed.

“You need to get inside the attic and see the cause of the problem,” he said. “Normally, it’s poorly insulated or there’s a lack of ventilation.”

 

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