New England winters bring their fair share of problems for homeowners. One of those pesky problems is ice dams. An ‘ice dam’ forms as ice and snow begins to melt off of your roof and refreezes right at the edge of your roofline. Once the ice dam forms it prevents other water from draining off your roof properly. Pooling water can cause damage to your roof and may even find its way to the interior of your home. The good news is, you can prevent ice dams from forming by following these simple tips.
How to Identify Ice Dams
The first step is knowing what to look for. Icicles don’t necessarily mean you have ice dams. However, a telltale sign is seeing ice where it shouldn’t be, like on the edges of your roof, through your soffit, or behind your gutters. If you find that you have ice in these areas, do not ignore hoping it will go away.
- If you can reach your roof safely, attempt to knock the ice dam off with a long stick or the best option- a roof rake. If that doesn’t work, try cutting a channel through the ice to allow standing water to drain.
- Try using a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt and place it on the ice dam itself, so that it melts a channel through the dam.
- Don’t ignore those large icicles hanging around. If they’re solely on your gutters and there isn’t any water trapped behind them, this may not necessarily mean there’s an ice dam, but those icicles are incredibly dangerous. The best thing you can do is attempt to knock them down safely, and obviously from a distance where you yourself won’t get injured.
- If you cannot reach the roof safely, consider hiring a contractor to remove it.
Did you winterize your home? It’s not too late to prevent damage.
How to Prevent Damage from Ice Dams
Even though we are in the midst of Connecticut’s winter weather, it’s not too late to make sure your home is protected. No ice dams yet? Follow these steps to reduce your risk.
- Make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris.
- Insulate the attic floor to reduce the amount of heat rising from within the house. This stops the snow from melting on the roof.
- Keep your attic well ventilated, so it stays cold, and properly ventilate the roof and eaves.
- Remove snow from the roof with a rake or shovel before it freezes or hire a professional roofer to clear your roof.
- Prevent air flow between the house and attic with a foil-faced cover over an uninsulated attic hatch or whole-house fan opening.
- Install a water-repellent roof layer.
Make Sure You Understand the Coverages on Your Homeowners Policy
The final step in protecting your home from winter weather is reviewing your homeowners coverages. You want to make sure you understand your deductibles, what is covered and what isn’t covered on your policy.
At Paradiso Insurance, we know what works for one Connecticut homeowner won’t necessarily work for another. That’s why we listen to you, determine your situation, and then create an individualized homeowner’s insurance plan that addresses your unique needs—and home. Call us today at 860-684-5270 and let us get to work for you.