Ice Dam Prevention Tips

Author: Kathryn Wier Posted on: 29.01.2016

OTC Insurance Brokers Inc. is an insurance broker in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This week’s blog post looks at Ice Dam Prevention Tips.

Did you know that damage caused to your roof by ice damming is typically not covered by insurance ? Often times only the resulting damage inside your home is covered.  To avoid potential damage from ice dams see our tips below.


Isnow covered housece Dams: What are They and How Can You Prevent Them ?

Ice Damming  occurs when snow continually melts , runs down the roof and refreezes when temperatures dip.  A large mound of ice will form and once it does there is no where for water to go but underneath the shingles and into the home.

When do you need to worry about Ice Damming?

Ice damming becomes a concern after any heavy snow fall that results in a large accumulation of snow on your roof.  You also need to be concerned when ice begins to accumulate on your eavestroughs and down spouts as this is a sign that things are not draining properly.

How to Help Prevent Ice Dams from forming:

Remove snow from your roof after heavy snow fall.

If you have a single story home use a roof rake to clear snow from the edge of your roof after heavy snow fall.  This will help lessen the stress on your home’s roof and help prevent ice dams from forming.  The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on the type of roof, age and condition of the structure.  If there is a large amount of heavy, wet snow and ice accumulated on your roof you should have it removed. If you aren’t able to safely remove snow on your own please call a professional.  Avoid using a hammer or ice pick when removing snow as you  could potentially cause damage to your roof.

Clear eavestroughs and downspouts

If your eavestroughs are full of leaves from the fall and your downspouts blocked by snow there will be no where for water to go as it melts. This puts you at a higher risk of ice damming. By clearing things out you’re helping to ensure that water melting off your roof can drain properly.

Upgrade attic insulation and increase ventilation.

Keeping the heat inside your home will not only save you on heating costs but it can also help prevent ice damming.  Heat escaping through your roof heats up the snow and causes the snow to melt from the bottom layer up which can cause ice dams.  By keeping the roof cold ice dams are less likely to occur.

Install a water-repellent membrane

When replacing your roof be sure to have a water repellent membrane installed underneath the shingles. This acts as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping inside the building.

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