Why Should You Remove an Ice Dam That’s Not Causing Roof Leaks?
You should get an ice dam removed whether or not it’s caused water to leak through your roof. Ice dams are bad for many reasons.
If your roof is leaking, then getting your ice dam removed now is crucial, and probably should have been done earlier. That would have been less expensive than the water damage repair bills you’ll need to foot. You’d also have avoided spending your spring and summer helicoptering over contractors, while they repair the damage.
But even if your ice dam hasn’t caused leaks, you should still get it removed. Why?
- Ice dams can cause a leak (without warning) and ruin the interior of your home. Some of that damage may be permanent. Just because the leak hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it won’t. Leaks happen without warning.
- A roof leak may cause a fire. Electrical fires are particularly dangerous, because you can’t put them out with water.
- You may not know about a leak even if you get one, causing a mold infestation (most likely in your wall cavities).
- Ice dams can damage your overhangs, as well as your shingles.
- Ice dams can damage your gutters, causing them to bulge, bend, or even detach from your house.
- Ice dams can contribute to a roof collapse, because they add to the weight on your roof.
- Ice dams can cause an explosion, under certain conditions. A Breckenridge, Colorado home exploded in April of 2019, after the ice slid off the roof and ruptured a gas line.
Even non-gamblers know that at casinos “the house always wins.” A similar version is true in the nasty little world of ice dams: In your house, the insurance company always wins.
Because you may know that your insurance company probably won’t cover ice dam removal, you might be tempted to let the ice dam leak inside your home and just let the insurance company cover the damage it causes. Bad idea. The insurance payout probably won’t cover all the damage, especially insofar as the insurer can make the case you were negligent and/or did not perform your due diligence in an effort to avert or minimize the damage caused to the interior of your home by having your ice dam(s) removed in a timely fashion (or by performing regular home maintenance, like roof raking). And…if there is a payout, it certainly won’t cover water damage to any of your irreplaceable items, and won’t even begin to compensate for your distress, discomfort, time off work, peace of mind, and attachment to parts of your home you may need chopped-out and reconstructed.
In the end, doing nothing and hoping your insurance company will foot the bill for the damages isn’t good practice. Not for your wallet, your home, the contents of your home, and not for the safety of your family.
The risk isn’t worth it. Get your ice dam removed before it causes roof leaks, takes years off your life, or takes your life.