Preventing ice dams at your business property

Preventing ice dams

Review these tips for preventing ice dams at the onset of cold weather

An ice dam is a condition that develops when the warm air in a building melts the snow that is against a roof, leaving a pile of snow above the melt. The melted snow trickles into gutters and then refreezes. We’re passing along a few brief tips for preventing ice dams from our risk management services, to help you keep an eye out for this issue during freezing weather and take preventative measures beforehand.

When melted snow trickles into gutters and refreezes, it prevents the gutters and downspouts from draining water off the roof and away from the structure. Gutters full of frozen water cannot function properly, and pose a significant risk of damage to a structure.

Related: Tribal Risk Management: Winter Loss Control Tips

Prior to the winter months, several things can be done to prevent and reduce the severity of ice damming issues:

  1. Installing heat trace tape along eves, in gutters, and downspouts will help melt a channel for the water to drain properly. Make sure when installing or hiring a contractor to research products and follow manufacturer’s installation guidelines.
  2. Add insulation to the attic space to keep inside heat from escaping into the attic and melting snow.
  3. Keep any attic hatch or direct opening to attic space or drop ceiling closed off so that heat from the building does not escape into the attic or ceiling.
  4. Add ventilation and make sure existing ventilation is clear of any blockage. Utilize baffles at eves in attics for air flow to occur from soffit vents.
  5. Make sure exhaust ducts are properly sealed and ducted to the outside.
  6. If re-roofing any buildings, make sure your contractor uses an ice/water shield product.

Related: Winterize your vehicle fleet to minimize claims in deep freeze months


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This information is provided by Clear Risk Solutions on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness or accuracy. Arrowhead Tribal assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in this content.