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Ice Dam Repairs and Remediation: What You Need to Know

Remember the winter of 2014-2015, when roof rake sales went through…well, the roof? It was a chilly reminder of the damage ice dams can cause to your home. Winter is in full swing once again, which means homeowners should be on the lookout for ice dams. While ice dam prevention is critically important, it’s not always possible. Sometimes, ice dam damage requires repair work and remediation. If you want to know more about ice dams and how to prevent and repair them, read on.

What Is an Ice Dam?

Ice dams can form on your roof after a heavy snowfall. The snow melts during the day, drips or slides down the roof’s slope to the eaves, then refreezes overnight. This process puts undue weight and strain on the roof. The cycles goes like this: 

  1. Warm air reaches your roof and melts the snow.
  2. The melted snow reaches the colder eaves and freezes.
  3. More snow melts, the ice dam gets taller, and water starts to pool on your roof since it has nowhere to drain.
  4. Water backs up under the roof shingles and looks for the easiest path to flow down.

Ice dams can damage your roof, but that’s not all. When ice and snow melt on a roof, the water can actually get beneath the shingles, causing water damage to ceilings, drywall, wiring, insulation, paint, framing, and more. When an ice dam on your roof goes unchecked, the end result could be extensive damage to your home and possessions. Here in New England, we’re impacted by ice dams more often than in other parts of the country. That’s because our neighborhoods are home to so many historic houses. Older homes leak more warm air than newer, better-insulated houses, so they’re more susceptible. 

How to Fix Ice Dam Damage

Fixing ice dam damage can range from minor roof repairs to major remodeling projects. The extent of damage dictates the scope of repair. Either way, if your roof has buckled under the pressure of an ice dam, don’t panic. It’s possible to repair and remediate the damage. However, there are some steps to take before you start looking into hiring help to fix the damage. If you have homeowners insurance, for instance, you don’t want to jump right into repairs. Let’s talk about why.

Does Insurance Cover Damage from Ice Dams?

Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, damage from ice dams may be covered. You’ll want to take a look at your policy to be sure, and call your insurance provider to confirm. (Taking this step ahead of time, and adjusting your policy to include coverage from snow or water damage, can help give you peace of mind.) If your home sustains damage from an ice dam, the first thing you need to do is contact your insurance provider. You’ll need to take photos of the damage before you begin any cleanup, then continue documenting any further damage that occurs. It’s also important not to start any permanent repair work right away. Your insurance provider will send someone to your home to survey the damage first.Once you get a quote for the cost of your repairs, compare that to the amount you’ll have to spend on your insurer’s deductible. It may be more cost-effective to pay for the repairs outright.

JM Construction Repairs and Remediates Ice Dam Damage

Does your home have damage from ice dams? We can help. Our Home Services team is ready to tackle any winter repair project that surfaces as temperatures drop. We can help with ice dam repairs and remediation, any resulting remodels, and more. If you need us, we’re just an email away.

Reach out to our Office Manager, Cheyann Abrek, who will follow up with a phone call to learn more about your project.

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