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Jim Flynt
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2000 - 1:22 pm:   

Just a note to interested adjusters, several of the adjusting firms are putting cat adjusters "on standby" for the Northeast United States this morning. You might want to check with yours.
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 2:51 pm:   

Skylights, plumbings vents, attic fans, water following vent lines and electrical lines to adjoining rooms. Remember the problem is not limited to the roof edges and rooms associated with the exterior walls.
Jim Flynt
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 10:57 am:   

Dave, Thanks for your most excellent comments. What a valuable resource the CADO site is for those seeking information, education, communication, dedication, wisdom, experience and vigorous debate offering differing views.

Let us all agree that we can disagree here on CADO while disagreeing disagreeably.

By the way, I have had to stop the backyard "snow dances" until the foot of new snow melts. See, it worked!
R.D. Hood
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 9:50 am:   

Having worked a few ice dam claims, in several states and another country, the prior posts hit the mark.

An explantion of the "ice dam",cause and effect, will save you a lot of headaches. The P/H is of the opinion that the roof is bad. Always have a handout or a skectch prepared to show the insured, it saves untold time and questions.

Under most coverages the resultant interior damages are covered. In some cases a "nailable surface" is covered. Know the policy and the applicable coverages. If you are not absolutely sure, niether confirm or deny coverage, as this can lead to a case of estoppel.

The information gleaned from this web site , is without peer. Imagine the cost in time and real dollars to get all of the answers the members get for free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jim Flynt
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 4:28 am:   

PS to CAT 2: After rereading and reviewing your comments about construction "defects" and flaws in design from your Michigan experience last year, it would appear to me, that those factors you outlined notwithstanding, the Insurance Carrier still owes the policyholder for the interior ice dams damage.

Any one want to disagree? If so, explain your position!
Jim Flynt
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2000 - 4:07 am:   

Catadjuster 2, sometimes the "text book" is a good place to start for those who need the basics. I have yet to see many ice dam claims which are subrogable (though the possibility exists), and I will put my ice dam and winter storm experience up against almost anyone.

You are right in that we are probably saying the same thing: start with the basics and use good common sense from there!

PS: If you will go back and read my earlier posts, you will note that I suggested these web resources as great handouts for your Insureds. Remember, they don't always know the basics of the ice dams damage process. I find these type of handouts save me a lot of time and explanation with policyholders and help to prevent unnecessary reopens.

You will note further that some of these were prepared by the top roofing consultants and forensic engineers in the field. Where would you go for your answers Cat2 when you need them? I'll stick with the "textbook" and the resources of "experts" on the Internet rather than flying by the seat of my pants. To each his own!
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2000 - 10:35 pm:   

Jim, thanks for the text book answer on ICE DAMS
however there are many other issues to consider also, ck design and construction of the dwelling.
Roof installation, and location of gutters in relationship to the roof decking.
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2000 - 10:29 pm:   

Most of my problems last year in Michigan (personal experience) was due to poor construction in both older and new home. No roof overhang,improper ventilation, exposed and rotten roofing decking hanging direct over and into a gutter wich held ice and rotted the exposed decking (no drip edge mldgs). Open roof valley w/o flashing, usually damaged and broken if stepped on or damged while removing the ice & snow... and lets not forget the 3-4 layers of shingles + the snow which cause the roof deflection because of improper roof rafters had no cross braces etc (designed for one layer only)... Watch for design and construction defects, Always check the first 2-3 row of shingles next to the gutters - visible ripples can be seen from the street- indicates rotten decking. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
Jim Flynt
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2000 - 11:12 am:   


Below you will find 2 websites which feature Ice Dams Diagrams for your own use and information or for handout to your Insureds for their understanding:

( )

( )
Jim Flynt
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2000 - 10:49 am:   


For adjusters wanting more information concerning ice dams, or who are looking for "handouts" to give to Insureds who may have suffered from Ice Dams damage, may I recommend your perusal of the following websites which have excellent information:

For Ice Dams Prevention Information:

( )

( ) This site has an excellent ice dams animator which shows the ice dams process. Excellent for those seeking to learn how ice dams form. ) This site offers a photo of actual ice dams.

Hope this is of some help as the weather conditions appear to be becoming more conducive to ice damming in parts of the United States.
Jim Flynt
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2000 - 9:29 am:   

Dave Hood, keep your eyes on the Weather Channel, the backyard snow dances to the Great Snow Gods in the Sky seem to be working in parts of the Midwest and Northeast US. Ya'll keep dancin' faster!
Ric Vitiello
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2000 - 12:54 am:   

Hi Steve,
The condition we refer to as Ice Dam is caused by a combination of conditions. Sorry, but this will take a minute or two to explain. First of course is a deposit of a good layer of snow on the roof which will melt off slowly. Second is below freezing temperatures to allow any melt off to re-freeze in the gutter and then on up the slope above the gutter as the melted snow (water) builds up in and then above the gutter but has no way to drain away safely. A pond literally builds up behind the ice "dam" and eventually leaks in between the shingles, down into the eave, and across the soffit to the interior of the exterior wall. It usually does this with no damage to the roofing system itself. BUT, The key ingredient is in the attic space. Typically (but not always) ice damming will be associated with a poorly ventilated attic space where heat loss from the living space rises by convection or conduction into the attic. This heat accumulates in the attic due to the poor ventilation and warms the underside of the roof sheathing which then melts a thin layer of snow against the shingles on the roof. This thin layer of water flows down the warmed roof slope just fine until it passes beyond the outer wall, but when it gets out over the eave and into the unheated gutter it simply refreezes and builds into a dam which backs up the flowing meltoff which runs into the house. this is why many in many cases the condition worsens as the temperature starts to rise and the ice dam is already in place. The increase in runoff will flow right into the soffit and literally flood the interior. Ice and water shield membrane helps prevent the inflow of the water but has limitations. The best way to prevent this condition is to insulate the attic floor as well as possible and to ventilate the attic so that the temperature and humidity in the attic are as close as possible to that of the outside ambients at all times of the year. This will also lower air utility bills and help prevent premature roof failure due to excessive summer heat and moisture in the attic. It will also help prevent rotting of the roof sheating caused by winter moisture condensation. Sorry for the long winded explanation but I hope it answered you question.

Ric Vitiello,
fellow CAT adjuster, and
president, Benchmark Services, Inc.
Roofing Consultants
Jim Flynt
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 5:49 pm:   

Talk about bad luck Ghost, I couldn't get pleasured in a women's prison with a handful of pardons.
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 4:53 pm:   

Jim, actually, down here in Texas, I use my three evil sister-in-laws to conjure up hail storms in their big, black cauldron. Last year it worked with the Bryan/College Station hail storm. They do this just to get me out of town. You might check with your inlaws and see if it works for you.
Jim Flynt
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 1:44 pm:   

Don I am out in the backyard doing ice dam dances every day (and yes, I do say "Boulder Boulder Boulder" at times Mr. Jester. It's the biggest dam I know!) but it does not seem to be working. Perhaps the bonfires I have built in tribute to the Great Snow Gods in the sky aren't big enough?
It worked for the Indians when they needed rain, so perhaps if some of you other "Indians" would do the same thing every day, our chances for success would be better.

J/K too!
Don Elkinton
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 10:26 am:   

Typically I would say in excess of 12 inches of snow. This happens when the jet stream stays north around or just below the Great Lakes. Combine that with La Nina warmth from the Gulf of Mexico and you have the perfect scenario. What happens is, the moisture from the melting snow thaws and refreezes allowing the dreaded water to travel the opposite direction gravity intended it to, uphill. Bypassing the ice shield (if any applied) and entering all rooms just inside the outer wall. In addition, often we also get to experience frozen pipes the Mother of all winter damages! Love this winter type work. Come on Jet Stream and La Nina!!!

Bored in Kansas,

Don Elkinton
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 9:52 am:   

It starts out normally as rain and as the temp begins to fall it freezes on the patio,sidewalk,roadways,trees whatever.Then you get brave by opening a doorway and try to get to the mailbox or your automobile.One out of every four will make it.The other poor soul will usually be heard saying as he is laying flat on his backside "Dam Ice!" or something to the tune of "Dam Dam Dam!" This is usually how it begins. :) :) Just kidding!
Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 9:11 am:   

Just wondering what is the sequence of weather events that leads to ice damming?
How much snowfall is needed?
Just wanted to know what to look for during my weather channel marathons...

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