Ice dams have the potential to cause severe damage to your roof, your home’s structure, and interior as well. If you take the right steps, however, you can protect your home from the damage caused by ice dams. If you live in a region of the United States that gets cold and snowy during the winter (like Wisconsin), this could be some of the most important advice you could receive about protecting your home from damage.
Ice Dams and Your House
An ice dam is a mass of ice that forms on the roof and prevents water from running off as it should. Ice dams usually form on the edge of the roof along the gutter, but they can also build up on overhangs, flat areas and valleys. Over time, the roof heats up, the snow melts, and the water gets stuck behind the dam. Night falls and the water refreezes, making the dam grow in size and weight, which stops even more water from running off as it should. Eventually, water could find a path of least resistance into your home or worse yet, the roof could collapse. In the end, an ice dam could damage your roof, walls, ceilings, floors, insulation and more.
Ice Dam Removal and Prevention
Unlike other disasters, ice dams can be prevented if you’re diligent. Ice dams that have already formed can also be removed without causing damage. To remove and prevent ice dams, follow these steps:
- Keep gutters clean so nothing obstructs water flow.
- Ensure your house has good ventilation throughout the attic, and is well insulated to prevent unnecessary snow melt.
- Remove ice dams as soon as you notice them in order to prevent or mitigate further damage.
- Use a roof rake to clear snow from the edges for accumulations of 6-inches or more.
- Hire the removal of snow from flat roofs, or multi-story homes.
- Call an ice dam removal services if an ice dam occurs and you can’t remedy it yourself.
Following the points outlined above, and scrutinizing your roof regularly for potential problems can go a long way towards removing and preventing ice dams.
Ice Dams and Homeowners Insurance
Just as a good homeowners policy could protect your assets in the case of fire, tornadoes and other covered damage, it can also help with ice dams. Most policies will cover water damage that results from ice dam. While insurance is a good backup should something happen, preventing ice dams is your best defense against a leaking or collapsed roof.
Other Related Risks
Ice dams aren’t the only problem related to ice that faces homeowners. Icicles can fall and injure someone. People can also slip on ice that has accumulated on your sidewalk immediately below a melting roof. It’s a good idea to look out for these risks, and do what is necessary to eliminate these potential accidents as best as you can.
When you live in a region that gets snowy and cold, there are some extra steps you can take to protect your home and your assets. Fortunately, with awareness and actions, you can prevent most accidents and damages before they ever happen.