With winter well under way, cold weather and freezing temperatures could make ice and snow build-up an unprepared homeowner's nightmare. Ice dams, which develop when heat from a roof covered with at least eight inches of snow moves through the roof and melts the bottom layer of snow, are among the biggest culprits in winter home disasters.
"Ice dams are lumps of ice that form on gutters, eaves and valleys, and prevent melting snow from running down," says Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz. "As the snow melts, the water backs up and seeps under shingles or tiles and eventually into your home. However, preventing ice dams can be as simple as mounting proper insulation and avoiding improper removal of ice and snow."
To help minimize ice dam formation on your roof and protect your home from winter damage, Allstate Insurance Company offers the following tips:
•Keep gutters and downspout clear of leaves and natural debris.
•Identify areas of heat loss in your attic and properly insulate them to prevent heat from escaping.
•Minimize heat loss through the attic by wrapping or insulating all heating ductwork.
•Avoid using sharp tools or ice picks on gutters or downspouts, which can damage roofs. •Use a snow rake or soft broom to clear fresh snowfall from gutters.
•Contact a professional snow removal company to clear existing ice dams.
•Protect yourself by avoiding falling icicles or avalanching snow.
•Avoid getting on the roof and working on a ladder or beneath a roof that has accumulated large amount of snow.
To learn more about preventing ice dams or receive information on other safety topics, contact Allstate Agents Tom Smith and Kevin Gwozdz, located at 5721 Covington Road in Fort Wayne. They can be reached at 260-436-2787.