An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home or business and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

What causes an ice dam to occur?

Ice dams form when indoor heating rises through your ceiling into the attic and warms the roof surface. Snow on the heated part of the roof melts and flows down until it meets the part of the roof that is below freezing. At that point, the water freezes into an ice dam.

Who removes the ice and snow off the roof?

 Under most policies, the removal of the ice and snow is NOT something insurance companies pay. The removal of the Ice and Snow is generally handled directly by the homeowner.

 What type of damage can ice dams do to my home or business?

 Ice Dams have the potential to lift and displace the overlapping layers of roofing shingles, allowing water intrusion into the interior of the home or business. It is also safe to assume that puncture spots from the roof tarping will also have to be sealed. On the interior, it’s likely that ceilings and walls will be impacted by the moisture that comes into the home or business. Depending on the extent of interior damage, it’s also possible that flooring and interior moldings can be impacted. Unfortunately, most homeowners and business owners do not know that they have an ice dam issue until there are visible watermarks on the ceilings or walls.

 What does insurance typically cover?

 While dwelling coverage may help cover water damage caused by an ice dam, your policy likely won’t pay for services to remove the ice dam. And again, even if a loss is covered, policy terms and limits will apply. Check your policy to learn what protections you have in place, and talk with your agent to help determine whether you may benefit from additional coverage. There are situations where the adjuster will approve Emergency Service tarping, but this coverage is usually limited to $500.00.