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I thought this was interesting from WGBH News:

Ice Dams Wearing On Homeowners, Insurance Companies

The snow is inconvenient. The ice is dangerous. And it’s not just falling icicles. For some homeowners, ice is making its way indoors.

As the snow melts and temperatures drop at night, ice dams — overgrown icicles that block and damage gutters — are forming and getting bigger. On the edges of roofs, and in gutters, it’s a mess. Homeowners and insurance companies are feeling a little overwhelmed.

“In our daughters’ bedroom, they have a window and it’s got at least five or six strips coming down to the point where it creates a puddle, a really large puddle in their bedroom,” said Kevin Young.

Young says the blizzard of 2013 was hard, but this string of storms has him chipping away daily. Young lives with his wife and toddler twins in a house in Braintree. 

Leaks caused by an ice dam stain the ceiling of Kevin Young's home in Braintree.
Leaks caused by an ice dam stain the ceiling of Kevin Young's home in Braintree.
Credit Anne Mostue / WGBH News

 “When we got it we knew that the roof was a little older and it needed to be replaced maybe a couple years down the line," he said. "And now we’re running into the worst case scenarios with what’s happening. We have a lot of ice buildup in our gutters. And we have an addition that has water leaking down underneath the roof and creating a lot of water damage underneath the ceilings and drywall. And the windows. We have big bay window that has water running down it now.”

Young says he called his insurance company after the first blizzard this year to give them a heads-up. Insurance agent Susan Michal of Watertown says that can be helpful, and offers more advice.

“Use the days that are not snowy to try to chip away and bang away without damaging the roof, obviously," she said. "Or hire a fully insured and professional roofer, contractor.”

Michal says she’s received about 20 calls in the past two days. Claims are going to adjusters, who are making calls and visits. But it’s not clear when the storms will end, so it’s hard to tally costs. That’s what Young is finding, but he’s trying to keep his spirits high.

“It hasn’t hit me in my pocket really, fully yet, but it I’m sure we will pay more down the line," Young said. "Getting our new roof, or getting our addition fixed."

Insurers say they’re also fielding calls about frozen pipes and, occasionally, roof collapses.

Posted 10:45 AM

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