Winter is here and as a homeowner it’s important to check your property for issues and commit to regular preventative maintenance. Doing this will save you stress and money in the long term. In our latest Campbell & Halliburton Regina home insurance tip, we share important information from SGI regarding ice dams.
Spotting and Preventing Ice Dams – Tips and Information From SGI.
Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw – those are the ideal conditions to make an ice dam. And that’s something we know you don’t want. Ice dams will cause a lot of damage to the walls, ceiling and insulation of your home. They may even lead to mould.
With the weather cycle we’re currently experiencing, we’ve put together some information to help you prevent major ice damming problems in your home.
What’s an ice dam?
Ice dams are caused by on- and off-periods of melting and freezing. Snow becomes a layer of insulation on your roof, which warms up the air in your attic. Your warm attic then causes the snow to melt and roll down to the edge of the roof and the soffits. Unless the melted snow is able to drain properly, it will freeze and build up over time creating ice dams.
Throughout the winter, if this weather cycle keeps going and the ice dams spread up the roof, water will eventually work its way under your shingles and get into your attic. The water can seep into your insulation causing it to fail. As a result, warm air from your home will rise into your attic making the ice dam grow.
Ice damming is a vicious cycle. If you don’t take care of it right away, it’s going to get worse. Over time, wet surfaces attract mould, which cause breathing problems and make repairs much more expensive and labour intensive.
4 tips to prevent ice damming
- Keep the snow load down
You should always keep the snow load on your roof to a minimum to prevent it from causing an ice dam. However, we don’t recommend climbing on top of the roof yourself. Use a roof rake or hire a professional to clear away excess snow. Read SGI tips for using a roof rake.
- Clear your gutters and downspouts
Melting snow and icy water need somewhere to go. Clean leaves out of your downspouts and gutters in the fall and then dispose of ice, snow and gunk regularly throughout the winter. Break off any icicles that develop around the roof of your home.
- Keep the air moving in your attic
Your attic needs good insulation and ventilation. Without it, the heat inside your home will leak into the attic and cause the snow on the roof to melt. We recommend bringing in a roofing contractor to make sure the airflow is working properly.
- Make sure fans and venting are well sealed
Many homes have exhaust fans, air ducts, chimneys, attic hatches and pipes – and many of these are vented into the attic. They’re designed to move air flow properly but if they aren’t sealed well, extra air can escape around them. We recommend getting into your attic and checking the seals. If they need help, you can fix them yourself or hire a professional to take care of it for you. Good seals will also save you money by keeping your house warmer and preventing your furnace from working as hard to heat it.
As you walk out of our door, you can do so with the assurance that you are covered with the home insurance that best meets your needs. If you don’t have an insurance broker and want to talk to someone who is truly passionate about your insurance, contact us at Campbell & Haliburton Insurance. We would love to help you.
Our Trusted Regina Insurance Agents at Campbell & Haliburton have your best interests and safety in mind and our commitment to customer service is one of the pillars of our business. We also know insurance inside and out, so please contact us for all of your insurance needs and we will be more than happy to help ensure what you value most is protected.
**(This is a general overview. There are many different insurance companies, and there are always differences in insurance policies. For specific details on your policy and coverage, we recommend that you contact your agent or broker.)