The winter months in Atlantic Canada can be severe with snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. One of the most frustrating winter conditions is ice damming, which can cause a lot of damage to your home if not addressed quickly.
One popular question that many homeowners ask is whether their home insurance can help with the prevention of ice dams or help cover the cost of damage from ice damming. However, before diving into those answers, you must take a moment to understand what ice damming is and what it can do if you’re not prepared.
What is Ice Damming?
Ice damming occurs when temperature changes cause water to expand and contract. When water freezes, it expands, causing the ice to build up and expand over time to the point where it can cause significant problems. Ice damming commonly occurs on the roof, but it can also happen on the walls and windows.
Ice dams usually occur when warm air from inside your home meets the cold surface of your roof and causes snow and existing ice to melt slightly, but then freeze in place when the temperature drops again. This causes water to leak into your home when the snow melts and refreezes. The water then builds up behind the ice dam until it’s high enough to leak into your home. Most ice dams occur in late winter and early spring when temperatures fluctuate the most.
What Kind of Damage can Ice Dams Cause?
The water that leaks into your home can cause various problems such as mold, rot, and damage to your floors, walls, and other areas. This can lead to thousands of dollars of repairs.
In extreme cases, ice dams can cause ceilings and floors to collapse, resulting in serious injury or death. If you suspect that ice dams are causing damage to your home, you must take action as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Preventing Ice Damming: 3 Steps for Homeowners
While many homeowners often wonder if their home insurance policy will cover the implementation of preventative measures for ice dams, most companies don’t.
However, there are several steps you can take as a homeowner to help prevent ice damns from happening in the first place, including:
1. Ensure Vents and Fans are Properly Sealed Before the First Snowfall
The first step to preventing ice dams is to ensure that all of your vents and fans are adequately sealed before the first snowfall. This will help keep warm air from escaping from your home and causing water to build on your roof. You can also install vent extenders to help keep more warm air inside your home.
2. Clear Your Gutters and Downspouts
The next step to preventing ice dams is to clear your gutters and downspouts in the fall months to ensure that there aren’t any leaves or other debris that can cause water to pool and freeze on your roof. This will help prevent ice dams by allowing the melting snow to run off your roof instead of backing up and causing water to leak inside.
3. Get the Snow Off Your Roof
One of the most critical steps to preventing ice dams is to get the snow off your roof as soon as possible. This will help reduce the amount of water that can build up on your roof and cause ice dams. You can do this by using a snow rake to clear off the roof or by calling a roofing company to come out to inspect and clear your roof.
Will My Home Insurance Cover Ice Damming Damages?
While many home insurance policies will not cover preventative measures, they may cover the damages caused by ice dams. It is crucial to go over your insurance policy with your broker to make sure you understand what is included in your coverage.
If you notice water leaking into your home, you must contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage can be caused, increasing the amount of money you need for repairs.
In some cases, your insurance provider may require you to take action to prevent ice dams before they cover the damages. This is especially true if you have a history of ice dams on your roof or if the water leaks are causing extensive damage.
If you have any questions about your insurance policy, it’s a good idea to call your agent to learn more.
Make Sure Your Covered with Higgins Home Insurance
When it comes to your home, you want to make sure you’re covered if anything goes wrong. Higgins Insurance provides homeowners with the coverage they need to keep their properties safe. Whether you’re looking to protect your home in case of an accident, flooding, or more, Higgins can help you get the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
Do you have questions regarding your home insurance policy and whether it covers damage caused by ice damming? Then contact us today, and our team will happily assist you with your questions!