If your local area frequently experiences snowstorms during the winter, then you know how amazing the feeling of owning your own home is during the holidays. You get to stay indoors and veg out on your living room couch as you binge on your favorite shows, or you could go out for ice skating and sledding. As fun as wintertime can be, it can also prove rather problematic, especially for your house’s roofing system.
When snow and ice gather on your roof, it can become too heavy and ultimately cause damage to your roof. Older buildings face a higher risk of corrosion, which can weaken the roof frame, compromising its structural integrity. However, one of the most common problems homeowners often struggle with after extreme snowy weather conditions is the water leakages that arise due to ice dams.
What Exactly Are Ice Dams
Ice damming is a prevalent occurrence on roofs in areas that experience cold and snowy weather. An ice dam is a mass of ice that accumulates along the lower end of a roof, where it forms icicles that hang over the house’s edge. Ice dams can also form around vents, skylights, and roof valleys.
How Does an Ice Dam Form?
Ice dams form when snow and ice accumulate on a roof and melt after a temperature rise. The heat could come from the sun during the day or even at night when warm air in your attic space warms the underside of your roofing. The meltwater trickles down to the edge of the roof, where it re-freezes since it’s no longer exposed to warm air from the attic or the overall temperature falls. The water re-freezes into a thick ridge of ice that blocks subsequent snowmelt from draining, creating an ‘ice dam.‘
The Dangers of Ice Dams
As the meltwater gradually pools on your roof, the wooden frame of your roof or its decking can get wet and start to rot. Rotting of your roofing system will compel you to repair it or get a new roof installation altogether. If your attic and roofing are well insulated, the water can drench the insulation, thus limiting its ability to prevent heat loss. Such a scenario will only make your ice dam problem a lot worse.
If the water leaks inside your home, it may seep into your walls, staining your paint or causing it to peel off. The humidity and moisture from the leakage can create an environment that facilitates the growth of fungi such as mold.
The mold poses a significant health risk as it can trigger allergic reactions from members of your household and may have even more severe effects on those with underlying respiratory problems. In light of the potential damages from ice damming, it makes sense that you should fully secure your house, not to mention the cost of repairing ice dam damage can run well into the thousands. For these reasons, you should consider investing in homeowners insurance if you want to secure your home and your family.
Why Ice Dam Insurance Coverage Is a Good Idea
The working concept behind insurance is that it helps the policyholder recover following a loss. Following this reasoning, a homeowners insurance policy can provide compensation for any losses or damages to property caused by an ice dam. For instance, if the water breaks your gutters, your insurance company can pay for their replacement. If the pooled water leaks into your home and stains your drywall, the insurance company should cater for repairs as well as repainting.
Your homeowner’s policy should protect more than just the physical structure of your house. It should also cover your personal belongings inside the home. If the ice dam causes your roof to cave in, your insurance company should provide compensation for furniture or electronics damaged due to the impact. Alternatively, the insurance company can choose to pay for the repairs instead, depending on how the situation truly is.
An added benefit to getting a homeowners insurance cover is that although the responsibility of home maintenance usually falls on the policyholder, the insurance company may also take extra measures to protect you from further ice dam damage or harm. This could include providing better insulation or installing ice dam-resistant roofing. The company may also pay to remove the ice dam from your roof but only if a loss was incurred due to ice dam complications.
Factors to Consider When Buying Ice Dam Insurance Cover
As you can see, wIth homeowners insurance coverage, you’ll be able to provide better security for your family. But keep in mind that a homeowners insurance policy is not one-size-fits-all.
While there are many insurance companies in business, make sure that you take a deeper look into the homeowner insurance policies available. It can even be painful after suffering a loss to find out that it is not included in your coverage policy. Also, make sure that you’re buying enough insurance cover that will properly cover you from a loss. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing the bare minimum and expecting that you will be fully covered in case you experience significant ice dam damage.
There are certain circumstances in which an insurance company may deny your insurance claim. This can happen if ice dam damage is specifically excluded from your policy. However, a standard dwelling policy should cover ice dam damage, but it won’t hurt to confirm with your insurance company. You may not be eligible for an insurance claim if the policy states that the insurance company won’t cover damage to specific structures if the damage happens due to the weight of ice or water.
Get In Touch With a Viable Insurance Company Today
For many Americans, buying a home will perhaps be the biggest investment they’re ever going to make in their lives and as such, protecting your investment from ice dam damage should be an absolute priority. Not only are ice dams a risk to the roofing system, but they are also a danger to the people (and pets) walking beneath.
This boils down to understanding your ice dam insurance policy and paying for the coverage. Talk to your insurance agent and ask for detailed information on the best policy within your budget. Take note of the ice dam-related damages included in your policy. When reporting the loss, do so as quickly as you can if you want your claim to be processed quickly so you can get your property back to its best for you and your family.