Consumer Alerts

Although we are wishing for spring to be in full bloom, recent snowstorms seem to be taking center stage in the Northeast and throughout parts of the country. These storms can wreak havoc on your property; specifically, be on the lookout for ice dams. They could cause severe damage to your roof, gutters, shingles, and even inside your home.

Ice dams result from snow and ice that don't melt and drain properly into the gutters. What happens next? Ice dams can damage gutters and shingles. Worse, melted water trapped behind the dams can back up into your home. Warped ceilings, walls, and floors; damaged paint and insulation; and mildew are likely consequences.

If you suspect an ice dam is forming:
  • First, have the roof area causing concern cleared. (Be sure to take pictures of the possible ice dam for your records and prior to repairs.)
  • Contact a professional roofer to examine your roof to identify and correct any existing damage.
  • Consider relocating personal property that could become damaged if the ice dam were to cause structural damage or roof collapse.
    • Damage to personal property in the building caused by the weight of ice, snow, or sleet is not covered by standard ISO HO3, HO4, or HO6 policies. It is covered by ISO HO5 policies. Check your policy to see what coverage you have.
  • Check the ventilation in your attic – heat buildup will contribute to ice dams no matter how good your insulation is, and it usually carries excess moisture, contributing to even more problems.
  • If water damage occurs and it is severe, it may be necessary to hire a water mitigation company to assess the possibility of drying out the damaged areas.
  • Contact your insurance company to discuss the claims process.

For more weather safety tips, please browse our full library here >


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