Beware of Ice Dams After Big Snow Storms

img292We’ve finally had our first really big snow storm in Boston. School closings and people working from home are a sure sign that winter is truly here. As a homeowner, you should beware of ice dams after big snow storms. Ice dams form as snow starts to melt and then refreezes along the edge of your roof. The blockage prevents other melting snow from flowing off your roof. It instead seeps under the shingles and into your home. It may not be warm enough for that today, but it certainly could be over the next several weeks. Protect your home with these tips.

Clear Off Snow

After things settle down over the next few days, you should think about clearing off the snow from your roof. If you have a low roof line, you may be able to reach up to the edge of the roof with a roof rake. These come equipped with long handles and are specifically designed for clearing off snow.

If you have a high roof, this task is better left for professionals. Putting up a ladder to the edge of your roof or even climbing up onto your roof can be very dangerous. The medical expenses and lost wages would be far more expensive and painful than hiring a company to take care of this task for you.

Ice Dam Formations

From the outside of your home, you can usually tell if conditions are prime for an ice dam. There’s usually a buildup of snow along the roof’s edge. Icicles are another sign that snow may not be melting off cleanly.

Watch for Interior Signs of Leakage

Ice dams can cause water to seep into your walls and ceilings. Damage is not limited to the outer edge of your home as water may travel along different beams and paths to internal walls and rooms. Beware of ice dams after big snow storms and look for any early warning signs throughout your home. The sooner you identify a problem, the less damaging it will be.

MA Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Ice Dams

If ice dams cause major damage to your home, contact your insurance company regarding coverage. Normally, it’s not worthwhile to file a claim for minor damages, given the deductible. However, when major repairs are needed, homeowners insurance coverage can save you from financial hardship. It’s better to get damages repaired than to allow them to remain and worsen. Anytime water is involved, there is the potential for mold and other harmful conditions.