Ice DamsCold weather, snow storms, and ice leave many of us uttering a whole slew of swear words this winter.

There’s one very bad word in particular that many of us have heard around this time of year: damming.

Ice dams are caused by a ridge of ice forming on the edge of a roof, preventing melted snow from draining off of the surface. The water needs to go somewhere, though…and oftentimes it finds its way into your home in the form of a leak, causing damage to walls, ceiling, insulation, and other areas of your property.

While most homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by ice damming, it’s a nuisance that no one wants to deal with in the first place.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent it! Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei have compiled this handy list of steps to follow in order to prevent ice dams:

1. Clear Away The Snow

Hire a professional to remove snow from your roof and gutters. This opens up a clear path for melting snow to flow off of your roof and away from your property.

2. Keep Water Away

Be sure to position gutters away from your property and on a downward slope. If your gutters pour straight out into your yard or up against the walls of your house, the water will simply seep down into your basement or flood into entryways, causing damage to your property or slippery walkways that pose safety hazards.

3. Examine Your Exhausts

Make sure all ducts and vents in the bathrooms, kitchen, furnace, and other living areas are clean. Be sure that they exhaust to the outdoors, and not to your attic. The warm air transferred by these exhausts and vents typically contains moisture, which can lead to other serious issues like mold forming in your attic.

4. Reduce Heat Loss

Be sure that your attic’s insulation is properly installed and provides thorough coverage. You want to keep warm air inside of your home and out of the attic.

5. Check Your Chimney

This is another step that requires a professional. Bring someone to your home to take a look at your chimney and inspect it for signs of damage. Cracks, fissures, and improper seals could let water in and cause further damage to your home.

As mentioned above, most homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by ice dams. However, insurance companies may still try to deny you coverage, depending on the wording in your policy.

Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei has handled countless cases where the carrier inspects the property after the ice has melted and then claims the damage is due to wear and tear, and therefore not covered by your policy. They are likely wrong and simply looking for a way to deny your claim. Even though the ice may have melted and they can’t figure out what happened, we can.

If your home has suffered damage due to ice damming, or if you have been denied because the insurance company claimed it was normal wear and tear, give us a call. We will review your policy and make sure that you receive the reimbursement needed to repair the damage and restore your home.

Click here to speak with an attorney at Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei.