SGI CANADA reminds homeowners to take steps to prevent ice dams
January 13, 2017
With the recent snowfall in many areas of the province, and with temperatures expected to rise this weekend and into next week, SGI CANADA recommends homeowners clear the snow off their roofs before it melts to avoid an ice dam.
"Ice dams can cause significant damage to the walls, ceiling and insulation of your home, even damaging the contents of your home in some cases," said Don Thompson, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of SGI CANADA. "No one wants to find themselves in that situation. The good news is that there are some fairly simple things you can do now to help stop ice dams from forming and prevent an insurance claim down the road."
Ice dams can form when temperatures fluctuate below and above the freezing point. If the snow on the roof melts, but can’t drain properly, it can pool and then re-freeze, forming an ice dam. SGI CANADA recommends these tips to protect your home from ice dams:
- Keep the amount of snow on your roof to a minimum. Use a roof rake or hire a professional to clear the snow away – for safety reasons, don’t go up on the roof yourself.
- Keep gutters and downspouts free of snow, ice buildup and icicles so there’s a ready path for melting snow and ice to drain.
- Ensure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated to prevent heat from inside your home leaking into the attic and causing snow on the roof to melt. A roofing contractor can provide assistance if needed.
"Coverage for ice dams is not automatically included with every home insurance policy, so it’s important to talk to your insurance broker to find out if you have coverage in place should you need it," said Thompson. "Just keep in mind the coverage has to be in place before damage occurs, so it’s a good idea to have that conversation with your broker sooner rather than later."
If you have an ice dam that does result in damages, do what you can to prevent further damage and contact your insurance broker as soon as possible to file a claim. If insured with SGI CANADA, an adjuster will contact you to make an appointment to assess the damage.
For additional information about preventing water damage to your home, visit SGI CANADA's risk reduction tips.