How does an ice dam form? As the snow on your roof melts from daytime temperatures or from the heat of your house, water begins to run downward. As the water gets to the edge of your roof or gutter, it becomes re-exposed to the cold air and can freeze. It is this process of melting and re-freezing that forms the ice dam.
What can happen once an ice dam has formed? Once formed, any further melting and freezing can then cause the water to be forced under the roof covering and into interior spaces. The excess weight of the ice can also cause the gutter to crack or break away from your home.
What are some things you can do once an ice dam has formed?
- Hire a professional to remove snow and ice from your roof. As your independent insurance agent, we would like to remind you to check references and be sure that your contractor is insured and bonded for this type of work.
- Use a roof rake to remove snow buildup on the roof. Some tips of caution:
- Do not rake near electrical wires
- Do not create snow piles which block the exits
- Take care not to damage your roof
- Take care not create snow piles which bury equipment such as vents, utility valves, etc
- Be careful not to bring snow or ice down upon yourself, others or pet
- Try to place the snow in locations that will not cause seepage or flooding during melting
- Create channels using ice melt safe for roofs. Calcium chloride pucks, for example, can be thrown up to the roof in order to create melted channels which help to give the melting water a channel to exit through.
What are some of the warning signs of an ice dam?
- Large icicles hanging from gutters
- Solid ice formations along the edge of your roof
- Water dripping from the roof overhang
- Leaks, stains or damaged ceilings or walls inside your home
If water is dripping inside interior spaces, what can I do? Water in interior spaces can cause extensive damage. Mitigation is key. Here are some tips which can help:
- Collect dripping water in buckets or pans
- Mop up standing water
- Move furniture and valuables out of harm’s way
- Call a professional to remove snow and ice from the roof and to dry out your home
The time to find out that your home insurance is incomplete is NOT after you have a claim. Take a moment and review your insurance coverage.
We’re here to help. For a no cost, no obligation review and comparison of your insurance please contact us.