The great blizzard of 2016 has exited the northeast, and the great dig out has begun. While much of the shoveling, snow blowing and bulldozing will concentrate on the white stuff on the ground, homeowners need to look skyward, or rather, roofward as well and tend to the stuff piled high on their roofs. In many homes, snow = ice dams = trouble = insurance claims.
Ice dams form when the snow that has fallen on a roof melts and flows down the roof until it meets freezing air, usually at the overhangs (eaves) and then refreezes solid. We’ve all seen the pictures of huge icicles hanging from the eaves and often marvel at how beautiful they can be. (Dangerous, too!)
But don’t be fooled by the beauty: each year, ice dams cause millions of dollars of water damage and homeowners insurance claims. In addition to the visible: stained ceilings, collapsed gutters, and damaged shingles, ice dams can ruin insulation and leading to heat loss, and a vicious cycle of freezing and thawing.
There are many ways to prevent ice dams, including:
- Prevention: proper insulation and venting
- Snow removal: Using a snow rake to pull or push snow off your roof
- Equipment: Ice cables, which heat the roof and can prevent ice formation
Unfortunately, even the best intentions and prevention doesn’t work and damage occurs. In any event, you should never take any steps that could expose you or your family to potential injury.
Most homeowner insurance policies will cover the losses caused by ice dams, If you have a potential claim, call your insurance agent immediately and follow their instructions.
Have problems with an existing claim? Or have questions before you file a claim? Ring the Bell to chat about how we can help.