Ice damming prevention

By February 1, 2017 Personal Insurance

This week, that devilish groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will show his face and proclaim an early spring or six more weeks of winter. This winter had been mild but no matter Phil’s prediction, weather changes will be coming as we slowly move into spring. Temperatures will fluctuate and the snow and rain will soon start to play an aggravating game of “tag”. These conditions create the perfect environment for ice damming.

Ice damming is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood risks of the winter season. As heat escapes through your roof and melts snow, it will refreeze as ice. We see this commonly as icicles. With repeated melting and freezing, along with the application of more snow or rain, an ice dam can form. Just like a dam in a river, ice dams retain water. Eventually, if the water from the melting snow or rain has nowhere to go, it is forced under your shingles where it can seep into you home.

To help elude roof and structure damage here are a few tricks suggested by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) to help reduce your risk:

Ice Damming Prevention

  • Remove or relocate heat sources that are installed in attic areas directly under the roof.
  • Insulate light fixtures in the ceiling below an unheated attic space.
  • If you have penetrations into the attic, such as vents, seal and insulate them.
  • Place heating cables on your roof or gutters prevent ice buildup. This will allow a path for melting ice.