Does insurance cover water damage from ice dams?

Although you know it is important to maintain your roof – especially in the winter – you may still be wondering: What happens if ice dams form on my roof?  Does insurance cover water damage from ice dams?

The short answer is yes.  Usually, your homeowners insurance covers ice dam damage to your home and belongings.  However, depending on the cost of your claim, you may want to re-think filing, and instead, pay out of pocket.  Read on to learn more about homeowners insurance and how this applies to winter damage coverage:


So, what exactly is an ice dam?

During the winter, it is easy for build-up of water to collect on your roof.  When this water freezes, it makes a giant formation of ice.  As these water pools freeze and unfreeze, it creates new pockets of water that can eventually lead to leaks and roofing problems.  It is important to prevent ice dam formation and quickly take care of these problems if they arise, as they can be costly to repair in the future.

What does home insurance cover?

Unfortunately, some of us will need to go through the process of removing and repairing ice dams that form during Michigan winters.  As a standard HO-3 homeowners insurance policy will likely cover ice dam damage, it is important to note when to use your homeowners insurance.  Frequent claims will obviously increase your monthly insurance payment over time, and depending on your deductible, it may make sense to pay out of pocket for any damages incurred.

If the expected damage amount is not higher than your insurance deductible, your claim will be denied, and you will be stuck paying for the damage.  Roof repairs can be expensive, but before you call your insurance company, we recommend consulting with a local roofing company to understand the cost of fixing it yourself.

How can I prevent winter ice dam build-up?

If you put in the time, preventing ice dam build-ups is extremely easy and simple.  All you must do is put forth a little effort to maintain your roof.  Throughout the next winter months, you can take these steps to help secure your home and prevent water build-up:

  • Consistently clear out debris, such as leaves and sticks, from your gutter
  • Check your home for areas that are not properly sealed; vent pipes, exhaust fans, and light fixtures are a good place to start
  • Consult an expert to check your ventilation and if updates are needed
  • Keep snow and ice from accumulating on top of your roof by raking it off during snowy months

We get it – there are so many things to consider and take care of when you are a homeowner!  That’s why your local experts at Herbert Roofing & Installation are here to help.  If you’re looking for expert advice on what to do before the winter season hits or require roof repairs before the first snowfall, give us a call at (855) 542-7663 or visit our website.  We cannot wait to be at your service this winter season!

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