What is it?
An ice dam is a buildup of ice that holds melting snow on the roof, stopping it from running into the eavestroughs and away from the building.
This can cause your roof and ceilings to leak damaging your home’s interior walls and insulation,among other issues.
Check out the video below on how it happens.
If you notice any water spots, you should try and get up in the attic to confirm the source of the leak. If you don't feel comfortable doing it, find someone who is.
Damages can usually be minimized if actions are taken quickly, and could save you from needing to make a claim on what could be a minor repair.
Discuss the situation with a knowledgeable broker and decide what next steps are really needed.
A Claim for this won't get you a new roof.
Ice Damming repairs are usually limited to:
1. Drying out the wet areas.
2. Repainting the ceiling/walls that were affected.
It's been my experience that Ice Damming SELDOM results any need for exterior repairs. The roof itself isn't compromised and when it melts off you're back to normal.
In some cases the actual damages are limited to drying the wet insulation/drywall and a water ring when it dries. Obviously it's not always this easy, but sometimes it is.
'Ice and Watershield'
'Ice and Watershield' is also something that comes into play on a claim of this nature. It's a waterproof barrier used on the edges and in the valleys of a roof that was designed to help prevent water from coming through it.
Sometimes a building owner will discover their structure never had 'Ice and Watershield' at all, leaving it more susceptible to this kind of damage.
While this shouldn't affect their ability to make a claim, it isn't something the insurer will pay to have installed if you didn't have it before.
Get Some Advice
There are too many types of Home Insurance coverage in Nova Scotia to list.
Some SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDE "damages from Ice Damming" and some policies may only pay a percentage of the cost of replacement shingles based on how old your current ones are.
Knowing what's covered, or better yet having someone else who knows that can bring some peace of mind.
Get yourself some real advice about what you HAVE and do it BEFORE you have an issue.
Feel better about what you're paying for.