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Winter Weather - Ice dams


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The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers home and business owners valuable resources to reduce property damage due to freezing weather. Addressing winter weather risks now should help save both time and money in the future.

Melting snow can cause expensive property damage. When snow accumulates on a roof, heat from inside the building can often cause the snow to melt down to the edge of the roof and gutters, causing re-freezing (or ice dams). The melted snow has no place to go but to seep through the roof, potentially causing extensive water damage.

Adding insulation above ceilings can help trap heat inside a home and prevent it from melting snow on the roof. While having heating cables installed on the edge of a roof and gutters can be very beneficial as well, it’s important to ensure drains and gutters are free of debris that may block snow melt from flowing off the roof (see diagram above from the IBHS).

For more on ice dam prevention and removal, visit the IBHS webpage on preventing ice dams.

ice dams

Courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

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