Heavy snowfall can create a variety of challenges for homeowners, especially if it freezes and turns to ice. While icicles may look picturesque hanging from your roof, they pose a severe risk to your home because they often indicate the formation of ice dams. The following guide explains what you should know about ice dams and how home insurance covers these types of claims.
What Is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam is a thick ridge of ice that accumulates along the eaves of the roof. This happens when it warm air makes contact with your roof, causing the snow on the surface to melt, flow toward the gutter, and freeze once the temperatures drop again. As this continues to happen, the ice will eventually build up over the gutter and form a barrier that prevents snowmelt from running off the roof’s edge. With nowhere else to go, the water will begin seeping under the shingles and penetrate the deck below, ultimately leaking into your home.
Is Damage From Ice Dams Covered by Home Insurance?
The water damage caused by ice dams can be extensive, compromising your home’s structural integrity, staining the ceiling, ruining floors, peeling paint, destroying insulation, promoting mold growth, and damaging your personal belongings. Typically, a standard home insurance policy will include coverage for the damage to the building itself, but it may not pay to replace your possessions. To cover these items, you might need to purchase a policy that specifically covers the contents in your home. Additionally, if your insurer finds that the ice dam could have been prevented with proper maintenance, they might deny your claim.
How to Prevent Ice Dams
Taking the appropriate steps to prevent ice dams is the best way to protect your home and finances. Seal any areas that release warm air onto your roof, such as chimneys, exhaust fans, skylights, and vent pipes. Keep your gutters cleaned out and have your roof and attic inspected to ensure there’s sufficient ventilation. You can also install heated cables around the roof’s edge to help regulate temperatures.
Even if you do your best to keep ice dams from forming, it’s essential to make sure you remain adequately protected from potential damages. The professionals at Texas County Mutual Insurance can help review your current home insurance policy and determine if there are any gaps in your coverage that might leave you vulnerable to financial loss. They’ve been providing residents in the Licking, MO, area with reliable and affordable products for more than a century. Their dedicated team knows how to identify each client’s individual needs, so all (573) 674-3125 to schedule an appointment, or visit them online to learn more about their services.