How to Prevent Snow and Ice Damage on Your Property
Every winter, thousands of properties require insurance claims due to damage caused by snow and ice. However, preventing such damage should be a primary focus. It’s a simple process, especially if you’re a DIY enthusiast. Here are some of the most effective ways to go about prevention.
Snow and Ice Build-up
Even though most roofs are designed to withstand the trials of winter, snow and ice build-up can add extra weight potentially damaging the roof. When there’s about 2 feet or about 2 inches of snow or ice on the roof respectively, it will need to be cleared. Due care and attention will be required when clearing the snow and ice avoiding accidental damage to the roofing material.
Careless damage to the roof may not be covered by roof insurance. At least a 2-inch layer of snow should be left insitu preventing tools from coming into direct contact with the roof shingles. If you’re clearing by yourself, clear from the ground using a roof rake with a telescopic handle. The process is usually a risky one and injuries are all too common. Professionals can advise on the necessary steps to take during the process. If you must climb the roof, first ensure installation of fall protection equipment, such as a demarcation barrier, for safety when traversing the roof.
You need to be on the lookout for signs of water seepage through the roof evident from the ceiling and walls. These signs include blistering, water stains or rings, and water droplets. Structural damage can also occur due to snow and ice. The common early signs include warped ceilings, cracks on indoor walls, unusual structural creaking, and interior doors that tend to stick.
Formation and Effects of Ice Dams
The icicles which usually hang from the eves can lead to ice dams - a common potentially serious problem. Ice dams are ice ridges that build up at the roof edges and often stop snowmelt from draining off the roof.
This can force water to accumulate to the levels that could seep through the ceiling and walls into the property. Poor loft ventilation and insulation are common causes of ice dams; heat from rooms will rise melting snow on the roof, causing it to accumulate at one point and freeze to form an ice dam.
As a result, the dam blocks water from melting snow, and with nowhere else to go, it will force its way into your property.
Below are some useful tips to prevent damage caused by ice dams.
● Ensure proper insulation of the loft floor to prevent heat from escaping through the roof causing ice dams.
● Ensure there’s no space between the batt insulation strips.
● Inspect the loft regularly and seal any openings that could compromise the loft insulation.
● Check roof edges regularly to ensure there are no formations of ice dams.
● Ensure the loft is cool and well ventilated preventing the snow on the roof from melting.
Snow and Ice in Other Parts of the Property
Snow or ice could also form on other parts of a property, including balconies, stairs, doors, oil and gas appliances, and temporary car ports. Snow or ice should be removed as soon as possible to prevent damage to the respective.