What Is An Ice Dam?

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what is an ice dam

With the snow we got last week, your property is at risk for ice dam damage! Although this is a common form of property damage that we see in the winter, many property owners don’t know what this is. Here’s all you need to know about ice dams.

ice dam damage in ri
Diagram of Ice Dam Damage from University of Minnesota Extension

What Is An Ice Dam?

An ice dam is ice that is created from melting snow on your roof that causes water (from rain or more melting snow) to not be able to drain properly. Ice dams can damage your roof and cause water to leak into your home or business.

How Do You Know If You Have an Ice Dam?

The way to tell if you have an ice dam is if you notice any of these tell-tale signs:

  • Your gutters aren’t draining properly
  • Snow is melting on the top of your roof (the highest point) but is still visible towards the bottom where your gutters are
  • Your gutters are filled with ice
  • You see interior water damage (leaking, staining, etc.)
  • You see ice forming on the side of your property
  • You have icicles coming forming on your gutters
Icicles on gutters
Icicles that form along your gutters could be a sign that you have an ice dam and potentially damage to your roof or inside of your home.

Do Ice Dams Always Cause Damage?

Ice dams don’t always cause damage but more likely than not, if you have any of the above signs, you should have your roof and interior looked at by a professional roofer or a restoration company.

How Do You Fix Ice Dams?

Ice dams should only be handled by a professional roofer or restoration company that has the training and tools to fix an ice dam. Ice dams can cause things like water damagemold damageroof damage, and they all need to be handled by a professional.

Does Insurance Cover Ice Dams?

On most insurance policies, ice dams will be covered by insurance. The damages that come from ice dams will also be covered (water, mold, roof damage, etc.). It’s important to get your ice dams fixed right away as if they are left untreated, this could be cause for denial of your claim by your insurance company due to negligence.

stains on ceiling from water damage
A sign that you have water damage is staining on your ceiling or any visible water in your home.

How Do You Prevent Ice Dams?

Ice dams can be prevented by raking snow that has fallen on your roof, having proper insulation between your roof and the interior of your property, and purchasing ice melting heat cables.

snow melting on roof
Make sure you don't let snow pile up on your roof after a storm!

What To Do After An Ice Dam

After an ice dam, call your local ice dam restoration company or roofer that specializes in fixing ice dams. They’ll be able to come out to your property to determine the extent of the damage caused by the ice dam and begin the restoration process for roof leaks, water damage, and mold damage before it gets too pricey or dangerous.

Disaster can strike at any time

If you do experience any kind of property damage emergency, RI Restoration is open 24/7, 365 days a year to immediately come out and begin the restoration process at your home or business. 

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