How can you prevent water damage insurance claims?

This Maine winter has been predictably unpredictable, with heavy snowfall, extreme low temperatures, rain and ice storms, followed by mild temperatures to melt the mess. With this sort of weather, comes ice backups on our roofs, and increased likelihood of a claim on your homeowners insurance. This photo from the Travelers’ Insurance website explains how an ice dam forms:

Water Damage Insurance Claim

The last month has brought the kind of weather conditions that ice dams love. A heavy snowstorm piled the snow onto the roof. Then we got freezing rain that turned some of that snow to water, which dripped down to the eaves and froze when the cold snap hit. When the temperatures rose again and melted more of that snow, the water had nowhere to go but into ceilings and walls, causing lots of damage on its way.

Key steps to prevent water damage insurance claims:

  • Clear snow off the roof as soon as possible. If you are unable to shovel your entire roof, use a long-handled roof rake to clear along the edges and prevent freezing on the eaves.
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts of ice. When the water freezes here, it blocks drainage and causes ice to back up.
  • Insulate your attic and ventilate your attic. When interior heat escapes into the attic, it heats up the roof and melts snow. The cooler the attic, the less likely the snow will melt.
  • Remove ice dams as soon as possible. Be careful of the falling ice and consider hiring a contractor to remove it for you.