Monday, January 11, 2016

Ice Dams

Magic icicles glistening off of your homes rooftop, a classic sign of winter right? What if those icicles could be a warning sign of a potentially costly ice dam issue? Ice dams form when melting snow ends up refreezing at the edge of your roof or the gutter. So what's the harm and what are your options?

What's the problem? Well the dam is just what it sounds like...a little dam, and behind those ice dams melted water can form and possibly infiltrate the shingles and eventually your home. Roof related home owners insurance claims regularly rate among the top 10 homeowners insurance claims filed. Why file a claim, damage your home, and cost yourself money for something that is at least moderately preventable. 

Icicles alone aren't an indication your dealing with an ice dam. If the icicles are just at the gutter alone and it doesn't appear to have any water backed up or present you are probably ok. You should also check inside your house for any signs of moisture or water stains in attics or the areas that meet with the roof line. If there is a question I would hire a professional. 

What are you supposed to do? 

One of the easiest possible solutions is to regularly ensure your gutters and downspouts are not clogged or iced over. It is a very good practice to check these frequently in the fall before the snow flies. Nobody needs to be on a ladder in the ice and snow. Personally I would leave that to a professional at this point in the season. 

Another solution which should also save you money on your heating bill is additional attic insulation and venting. This is the more intensive solution but there are often rebates you can find online and it is a worthwhile investment to look into. 

Home Buying?

If you are shopping for a home during the winter months and see any of these signs it is probably a good idea to talk to an expert and give yourself some additional peace of mind. 

Until the next time...

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