Thursday, March 12, 2015

This Important Snow Removal Tip Could Save Your Life and Home

Dealing with "Ice Dam"-age To Your Property

Ice dams are severely dangerous to you and your property. 

This article will provide tips and information about how to remove ice dams, precautionary measures, and how hiring a reliable property management team will save you money in large maintenance costs. You must have seen/heard the ice dams as they fall off roofs across the city!

March is a dangerous transitional month for two reasons:
  • Daylight Savings Time begins
  • Weather patterns change from winter to spring seasons.
The latter takes precedent as the city continues to recover from the harshest winter on record of modern-era Boston, being hit with multiple blizzards that incredibly netted over 100 inches in less than a 30-day span.

Emergency Alerts for Snow?

Sounds crazy, but snow falling off roofs is definitely grounds for an emergency.

This year there have been many new cases in which injuries, deaths, and emergency alerts about roofs collapsing or caving in from the combination of snowbanks that have turned to ice beds and heavy rains.

Many of the ice dams cases go unreported during these freezing temperatures and destroy house gutters and/or the siding of houses.
These treacherous situations will continue to increase as the last surges of cold weather grips the Boston area.Learn how to remove ice dams.

Removal Costs of Your Roof's Iceberg

Even as the weather continues to get warmer, please be aware that New England will likely see a last stretch of cold weather in which more ice dams will form.

Be aware that with the fact that March annually averages to be the wettest month of the year with the highest amount of precipitation, namely in the northeast, or New England now is the time to consider flood insurance for your property

Property owners should be prompt to prevent the dangers of these icicles falling onto their tenants heads upon entry into their units/buildings. The combination of wet weather and temperature increases the amount of icicles to dangerously fall.

How a Property Management Team Saves You Money

First of all, you can write off ice dam removal as an expense if you are an owner or board member within a condo association that could benefit you and your tenants.

Tips for funding ice dam removal on your property:
  • Ice damming has been quite prevalent. Reputable vendors are often booked solid even working extended hours, so owners should report issues as soon as they notice to get on a service list as soon as possible. The City of Boston took over all available dump trucks this season, making it even more difficult for private property owners to lock down a vendor swiftly for hauling snow offsite.
  • Some properties are physically unable to safely remove dams (due to roof access, no tie off points), so mitigation may be limited or delayed while the weather winds down. Owners should continue to monitor the issue and report any changes in the meantime.
  • This season has been be a budget-buster for many associations. They may consider pulling from available reserve account funds, assessing supplemental fees to the ownership, or applying for a short term loan.
  • Insurance – add a disclaimer to review your specific master policy, your individual homeowner’s policy, and your specific condominium documents.
  • Ice dam abatement and roofing work will be completed as an association expense (because roofs and gutters are considered common area).
  • Your homeowner’s insurance policy should be used to cover loss located within your unit that was a result of the malfunction of the common area elements. Boston Condo insurance docs generally dictate that Unit Owners are responsible for proper maintenance and repair of their own units. Unit boundaries are generally described in the Master Deed.
  • If a claim is filed on the master policy, you would be responsible for the master deductible, which will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy, less the deductible on your homeowner’s policy. You will be responsible for your homeowner’s insurance deductible.
  • Take special note of exclusive uses and easements to private roof decks, etc. You may be responsible for snow removal of these areas.

Final Thoughts on Snow Removal of Ice Dams

So you have the understanding of how insurance, a great property management team, and how ice dams can do damage to both your home and wallet if you do not plan accordingly for their potential formation.

Tell us your experiences with gutters collapsing and how the damage was handled? Or any alternatives to this that you may find viable on a shoestring budget after this harsh winter?