DEAR SAM: I have a house with three gables on front. When it snows and then melts and freezes, an ice dam forms which causes water leaks at the "V" portions. If I caulk the shingle edges, will it stop the leakage? Do you have any other recommendations?

ANSWER: The "V" portions or valleys of your three pointed dormers may have some esthetic appeal, but they are harbingers for roof troubles as indicated during snow conditions.

Valleys should have copper flashing which expedites the removal and melting of snow. Any exposure of the copper to the sun's rays will develop heat conduction along the valley, causing the snow to melt or slide off more readily and thereby prevent backup of ice under abutting shingles.

You may, however, install asphalt composition valleys over the existing asphalt shingles or remove the "interweaved" singles so that the straight courses will abut the new valleys and be sealed to them with roofing cement (Webtex). Instead of caulking, you could use Webtex under the shingle edges. A responsible roofer should do it.

DEAR SAM: I have an International Harvester Mower and Leafer that is only two years old, in which the paint chips off and rusting starts.Is there a paint that can be applied that will preserve the looks of the equipment?

ANSWER: You should alert your Harvester dealer about this trouble, even though the limited warranty has expired, and I am sure that he will furnish you with the primer and finish paints for re-painting. Otherwise, you may obtain suitable points for metal refinishing at auto supply stores.