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The Causes of Ice Dams & How to Prevent Them

As the trusted insurance consultants for Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas, we continue to assist area policyholders with property insurance claims after winter accidents and severe weather events. One major culprit for winter home damage is ice dams. Many homeowners may have ice dams without even realizing it. So, what are the signs, causes and cures for ice dams? Norcia Insurance Consultants is here to answer just that. 

Ice Dam on Home in Wisconsin

What are Ice Dams? 

While once thought of as a problem with the roofing or ventilation, ice dams are actually caused by the presence of warm, moist air in the attic, combined with snow on the roof and the right weather conditions. Ice dams occur when heat gets into the attic and then melts the underside of the snow on the roof. This melted snow then flows down the roof until it reaches a cold spot like the eaves or soffit and forms a frozen dam where additional snowmelt and ice buildup. Then, the ice buildup can back up under the shingles, damaging them and allowing water to leak into the ceilings and walls beneath. 

Primary Cause of Ice Dams

The primary cause of ice dams are attic air leaks. Air leaks can damage insulation and more. Warm, moist air leaking through holes around plumbing vents, electrical wires, chimneys and more lead to reduced performance of your insulation. And, water vapor carried with the escaping warm air from your home may condense, freeze and build up in the insulation causing plaster and paint to crack and peel, leading to rot and other structural damage.

How to (And How Not to) Prevent Them

Removing snow from the roof can eliminate one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. However, it is important to be careful not to damage the roofing materials, yourself or your property. DO NOT install heating cables as they will shorten the life of your roof and cost money to operate. Also don’t remove ice with chippers, chemicals or heat as it can damage the shingles gutters and other components. Adding additional insulation like higher density foam on the top plate of exterior walls can reduce heat transfer to the roof deck. However, insulation alone is insufficient. 

The long-term solution to ice dams is to air seal your attic. Make the ceiling of your home airtight so warm, moist air cannot flow from the house into the attic space.

Ice dams are no joke so it is important to do everything you can to prevent them from damaging your home. If your home is damaged by ice dams, just keep in mind that the experts at Norcia Insurance Consultants are here to help.

Get Ready for Winter! Winter Hazard Awareness Week

Every year, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety sponsors a Winter Hazard Awareness Week and this year it is from November 10 through November 14. On Monday, November 10, the focus is on Winter Storms. We here at Norcia Insurance Consultants believe in being as prepared as possible for bad weather. Here are a few tips and some more information on winter storms and how to get ready and stay safe.

  • Get familiar with the terms that the National Weather Service uses for local forecasts. It is important to know the difference between an “outlook,” a “watch” and a “warning.”
  • Keep up to date on the weather forecasts. If severe weather is predicted, get to the store as soon as you can for supplies like canned food, de-icer, water and other items you will need if you are stuck at home for a few days.
  • Heavy snow and ice can cause structural damage to your home, like collapsing roofs and more. Ice dams can form and a variety of problems can result. If the worst happens to your home and you need help with your insurance company, call Norcia Insurance Consultants. We are public adjusters and can help you collect all of the money your insurance company owes you for your claim.
  • Do not go outside to inspect any damage to your home if it is unsafe to do so. It is best to wait until conditions clear before you go out to see what damage has been done. Better safe than sorry! Ice or a large amount of snow is usually the culprit when it comes to roof and gutter damage.

If you experience damage to your property thanks to a severe storm or other event, call us at 1-866-512-LOSS (5677) or Contact Us.

Prepare Your Apartment Complex Community for Winter

Are you the manager at an apartment complex? Then it’s important for you to know that the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting below average temperatures with a good amount of snowfall. With the mild winter we got away with last year, we’re in for some payback. Is your apartment complex prepared to handle the change in weather? In this blog, we’re going to cover some ways an Upper Midwest public adjuster can help you recover after damages.

Roof Inspection

When’s the last time the roof was inspected? If the roofs over your buildings are weakened for any reason, they could be vulnerable and collapse. If you had any water damage over the summer, now is the time to get it repaired. Built-up snow can get very heavy and cause a lot of damage. Even if your roof doesn’t break, you may experience leaking issues if there is previous damage.

Clear Pathways

Keep pathways all around the complex clear of snow, ice and debris. This is a great way to cut down on accidents. It is important to concentrate on walking paths and drives. Either one could be the cause of a big accident. Don’t risk injury or property damage for your residents or complex. It’s a good idea to keep extra people on staff in case of hazardous precipitation.

When Damage Happens

We know that even with the best-laid plans, things happen. When your apartment complex incurs damage and you need a public adjuster on your side, give us a call. We are accustomed to handling large projects. We work hard to get you the money you need to make the necessary repairs. We know you have a lot of people counting on you, so count on us to make the process go quickly and smoothly.

Are you in need of a public adjuster in the Upper Midwest? Give us a call today at 866-512-LOSS (5677) or request a free consultation online.

Preparing for Winter Storms

It’s that time of year again. Fall is the time when you need to be making preparations for winter storms. By taking some preventative measures now, you may be in better shape in the event of inclement weather. In this blog, we’re going to provide some basics tips for preparing yourself and your home for winter storms. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list and there is a lot more you can do.

Make Preparations Now

While it’s impossible to prevent a winter storm, there are a few things you can focus on to prepare your home for inclement weather. Below are just some of the things you could do to prepare your home for winter. In the event of a winter storm, having all your ducks in a row could save you time and money.

  • Insulate your home to keep in the heat
  • Keep an emergency kit
  • Maintain proper ventilation
  • Clean out gutters at the end of fall
  • Familiarize yourself with your piping system
  • Have your roof inspected
  • Trim tree branches and large shrubs
  • Make sure the chimney is clean and clear

Stockpile Supplies

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to a winter storms is keeping warm. It’s important you have fuel for wood-burning stoves, blankets and heavy clothes. If you have already checked your chimney and insulated your home, you will be more prepared should you lose power. Make sure you have a shovel and salt handy. If the snow is deep enough, you may not be able to use a snow blower. Keep some extra dry food on hand, so you have a source of nourishment.

Stay Informed

There are many ways to stay informed in the event of a winter storm. Radio, television and cell phone applications are all great resources when you have power. Make sure you have a radio that runs on batteries and extra batteries on hand. This will provide you with a way to hear and further urgent news if the power should go off.

When winter weather strikes, we’ll be on your side. If you experience any damage as the result of a winter storm, we should be your first and only call.

Are you in need of a public adjuster? Give us a call today at 866512-5677 or request a free consultation online.

Public Adjusters’ Perspective: How Safe is Green Bay?

Are you a Wisconsin native? If so, then you’ve probably lived through your fair share of natural disasters. They have the potential to be swift, but cause a large amount of damage. They can leave a mess at your home or workplace. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know how necessary it is to have someone on your side to communicate with your insurance company. Our local team of nearby Green Bay public insurance adjusters is here to help. In this blog, we’re going to cover some of the natural disasters that have affected the state and what they mean for you, in our option.


Wisconsin is no stranger to floods. Even earlier this year, parts of the state were covered in water. Floods can cause great damage up front, as well as leave behind residual damage that may take a long time to clean up. Water damage can damage your home’s or office’s integrity by seeping into the foundation and rotting away vital supports. One storm can damage hundreds of buildings, leaving people displaced and out of work. Flash flooding is also a major concern. This type of flood can pop up with little to no warning and do some serious damage. If you live close to a body of water, you probably take routine precautions when you are warned about heavy rainfall. But, it is impossible to be prepared for everything Mother Nature has to throw at you. So, when you need a helping hand, look to Norcia Insurance Consultants.


For a snowstorm to officially be categorized as a blizzard, it has to have strong, sustained winds above 56 mph. They cause reduced visibility, making driving difficult and dangerous. Some blizzards have significant icefall and others produce thunder. A blizzard can have a big effect on your home and your business. They are notorious for substantial snow build ups, causing roofs to collapse. Over the past 10 years, there have been 10 notable blizzards across the state of Wisconsin. Recent blizzards have caused road closures and power outages. Though Green Bay rarely sees more than two blizzards a year, they can have a big impact on the city whey they come through. Due to low temperatures and the potential for further damage, it is important to get blizzard damage repaired as soon as possible.

If you’ve been the victim of a natural disaster, call us today at 866-512-LOSS or Request a Free Consultation.

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