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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Do Ice Storms Result in Damage?

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

the roof of a house covered in ice. An ice storm can make any area unsafe. If the weight of ice or other factors result in damage to a residence, you can count on SERVPRO.

What Causes Damage From Ice Storms?

An ice storm involves the accumulation of freezing rain. Snow melts as it passes through air that is warmer than freezing. Precipitation then refreezes as it falls through subfreezing air closer to the ground. This results in a layer of ice that can be up to several inches thick.

What Do Ice Storms Involve?

Ice storms can result in accumulations of ice on the ground, sidewalks, roads, and other outdoor surfaces. These storms are characterized by:

  • A layer of ice at least a quarter-inch thick.
  • Excess weight on branches and power lines.
  • Risk of additional wind damage.


According to The Weather Channel, ice can increase the weight of tree branches up to 30 times or add as much as 500 pounds of excess weight to power lines. The weight of ice can cause branches, power lines, and poles to fall.

Common Types of Storm Damage

In addition to risks posed by slick surfaces, ice storms can also lead to power failure. Some of the consequences of an ice storm include:

  • Fallen branches
  • Lack of heating
  • Ice damming on roofs
  • Shingle bruises


These are some of the most common types of damage caused by accumulated ice. Preventative measures may limit the extent of damage.

Limiting Ice Damage

Homeowners can take several measures well before a storm is on the forecast. The following tips may lessen storm damage:

  • Clear gutters and downspouts
  • Ensure that roof temperature is uniform
  • Have trees pruned
  • Obtain a generator and fuel

These measures can protect a home and vehicle. It is also recommended to stockpile food and fill the gas tank of a vehicle in the event of becoming housebound or needing to evacuate.

An ice storm can make any area unsafe. If the weight of ice or other factors result in damage to a residence in Brunswick, ME, contact a storm and water damage restoration service.

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