As a homeowner, you must remain aware of the constant threats to your property. The sooner you know about weather-induced damage to your house the sooner you can act to repair it. Rhode Island can be quite cold and icy during the winter, especially in suburbs, ex-urbs, and rural areas. In fact, your house may sustain damage caused by ice dams.
When snow melts on a roof, it runs down this surface until it reaches the unheated bottom. There it freezes, and this chunk of ice is called an ice dam. The problem with ice dams is that they cause water to backup beneath shingles, which can cause damage to your walls and roof structures.
What Causes Ice Dams
The primary cause of ice dams is the transfer of heat from your home through your roof and to the snow. This has the effect of melting it, and the resulting water flows down until it is outside of the heated area. If you live in an older home, you may not have the kind of insulation that would prevent the transference of such heat. When you heat your attic and upper-level rooms, the heat will go through the framing structures, warm the roof, and melt the snow.
Here are some other causes of ice dams:
- Air leakage through your walls
- The use of furnaces in your attic or loft
- Densely packed snow
This latter cause may seem strange, but if snow is packed high enough it will warm your attic which will in turn lead to melting.
The best way to tell if you have an ice dam is to look up at your roof. If you see a big chunk of ice on its bottom edge, then you may have a problem. The formation of icicles hanging off your roof may make for great pictures and a romantic sense of a wintry paradise. You may take a moment to snap a few photos, but you must then spring into action to resolve what can be a serious problem.
Indications of damage that owes to an ice dam includes water stains in various parts of your home. You may also find the growth of mold on the drywall where the roof and walls meet.
You Have Legal Options
Damage from ice dams is not inevitable. It is usually the result of improperly installed insulation. Repairing such damage can cost you thousands of dollars. This is the kind of damage that should be covered by your insurance policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always do the right thing. If you are having problems on this front, then you may need to contact a property damage attorney. Property damage lawyers have the expertise and experience to help you get the money you need to pay for repairs caused by ice dam damage.
Lawyers for property damage know how to read and interpret insurance policies. Your property insurance claim attorneys will push back on any attempt on the part of your insurer to short-change you on a technicality. Most insurance claim disputes can be resolved without going to court. Property insurance claim lawyers know how insurers operate, and they know how to negotiate in a way that will lead to a reasonable settlement.
If you believe the ice dam damage owes to improper insulation, you can press the company you hired for monetary compensation. Your lawyer will help you gather the evidence necessary to prove they were at fault. They will bring in a range of independent experts and other professionals to demonstrate the shoddiness of the job.
If you are dealing with issues related to the damage caused by an ice dam, then you should call Cranston RI property damage lawyers at the law firm of Richard Palumbo.