Winter 2011: Filled with Ice Dams & Leaking Roofs

The hot topic of the winter seems to be ice dams.  The quantity and frequency of the snow and ice have caused real problems for homeowners in New England.  From ice dams, roofs leaking and even caving in, many houses have incurred expensive water damage.  Ice dams are when ice builds up due to improper ventilation and insulation. Your home&;s roof varies in temperature based on ventilation, insulation, heating, cooling, etc.  Therefore, when the snow and ice start to melt, in the warmer areas, the colder areas cause it to freeze and possibly build up if it has nowhere to go.

There are certain warning signs you may notice visually that could allow you to catch the ice dam in its preliminary stages.  First thing you will see are icicles forming on the edge of your roof.  I know this doesn&;t seem like much, especially in New England, but it is worth keeping an eye on and seeing if the ice starts to get thicker and/or spread to other areas.  Pay close attention to ice that is forming on the lower edge of the roof if you don&;t have gutters or on top of the gutters if you do.  Once the ice hits your home&;s soffit, the underside area of your roof&;s overhang, it can start causing some real damage.  Once this happens, you may see icicles behind your gutters, siding, exterior walls, and/or around your windows.  Chances are you have water damage in your home if this starts to happen.  Certain areas of the roof may be more susceptible to water damage than others, such as areas that are flat, or where two roof pitches meet and should be watched closely.

So, what do you do if this has happened to you?  First thing to do is to call you insurance company.  While many policies don&;t cover the exterior damage, they may cover the contents and repairing of walls, insulation and other items damaged inside the home.  Depending on the amount of damage, you can decide whether it is worth putting an insurance claim in or just fixing it yourself.

Ice Dams Massachusetts Rhode IslandOnce you get an idea of what is covered and what is not, you can make decisions on actions that need to be taken in order to get your home repaired.  While it is impossible to prevent ice dams and water damage to your home, there are some factors that may be causing ice and water to build up.  These should be addressed in order to minimize your risk of this damage happening to your home in the future.  Adding insulation and proper ventilation could help regulate your roof’s temperature, minimizing the ice buildup.  There are also some heated products out there that can help melt the ice and snow so it doesn&;t build up.  Moonworks sells the Heated Helmet system that works in conjunction with the Gutter Helmet gutter protection system.  The self regulated heating coil turns on and off based on temperature so it is effective and efficient.  The coil is hidden inside the Gutter Helmet so it doesn&;t detract from your home&;s exterior.

While it may be tempting to go up on your roof and start shoveling and chipping ice away, you should realize that this is really dangerous and should be left to professionals.  Besides the obvious risk of falling off the roof and injuring yourself, you could also damage you roof and shingles if you are not using the right equipment in the proper manner.  If your home&;s roof needs to be cleaned off, Moonworks can come out to your home and safely remove snow and ice from your home.

If you are interested in protecting your home against ice dams and water damage, be sure to give us a call at 1-800-975-6666 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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