Home > Property & Casualty > Chilly weather warning: watch out for ice dams

Chilly weather warning: watch out for ice dams

ice_damWinter 2013 has officially arrived with this latest cold snap, and when the temperature drops, weather-related problems can be on the rise. This is especially true for homeowners, who may experience electrical and insulation problems as a result of heavy snow and ice. Among the greatest risks to homeowners during winter is ice dams. These thick ridges of solid ice build up along the eaves of roofs and tear off gutters and shingles, trapping water that can cause serious damage for homeowners. The dams cause water to back up and pour into the house, frequently causing ceilings to collapse, paint to peel and flooding. This often leads lead to mold and mildew.

Ice dams first form when heat from the attic warms the roof’s surface, except at the eaves. Snow then begins to melt along the warmer areas of the roof before freezing again on the cold eaves. As ice begins to accumulate, it forms dams which blocks melt water from the warm roof behind it. This in turn can cause water to leak under the shingle and into the house.

Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid and prevent ice dams from ruining your home, and since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the experts on PBS’s This Old House offer several ways to handle them. Click here to learn more about the causes and some solutions to this vexing problem.

About the Author

Bruce MacDougall is a Senior Vice President in the Property & Casualty group at WGA and leader of the Private Client Group. His responsibilities at WGA include developing relationships and serving as a resource for WGA clients in all areas of property and casualty insurance brokerage and risk management consulting.

617.646.0279 | BMacDougall@wgains.com | Connect on LinkedIn

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