Ice dams form when the weather is cold, precipitation occurs, and the runoff liquid has no escape from a rooftop. These occurrences do not discriminate between single family homes, businesses, and townhomes or condos. The difference is not if these types of issues can and will occur – they can and will. The true difference is who is going to pay to remove them when they occur or prevent them from occurring in the first place. In a traditional home or business, there is one person responsible, the property owner. However, in a townhome or condo, the issue falls in the hands of the association. This article will explore why this is an issue for the association and how the association can be proactive to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

The Exterior

Anyone who has ever owned or rented a townhome or condo knows that the interior of the property is the homeowner’s responsibility. However, the exterior of the property belongs to the association. It is therefore the responsibility of the association to maintain. The idea behind a townhouse or condo is that the exterior of the property is considered common ground owned by the association. Most homes must maintain a certain look, as outlined by the agreement with the homeowner and the association. In turn, the exterior of the homes will typically be maintained by the association. Therefore, ice dam removal, damage cause by ice dams, and ice dam prevention are all responsibilities of the homeowners’ association. These issues affect numerous home owners, not just one.


In order for a homeowners’ association to prevent ice dams from becoming an issue, measures should be followed. These should occur prior to the first frost, into the first snow storm, and upon every storm thereafter. To begin, during the fall months, the gutters of each building should be cleared completely of all dirt and debris. This allows for proper runoff of liquid as ice begins to melt. Secondly, the insulation in attics and under the roof of the property should be inspected and secured prior to the first frost. If the roof is properly insulated, snow melts more evenly and prevents issues from occurring. Finally, when it snows, the snow should be removed from the roofs in a proper fashion. Using proper techniques for roof raking and roof snow removal will help prevent snow from melting and forming heavy ice. This can create larger problems, including damaging ice dams, in the future.
Another major issue that can arise is when icicles form as a result of an ice dam. If those icicles fall off the building as the snow melts, people and property can become seriously injured or damaged. When dealing with a homeowners’ association, this can lead to a lawsuit against the association as a result of injuries or damages. Furthermore, if the ice dam causes interior damages, this can cause even more costs to the association. It is much more cost effective to remove any ice dams immediately and prevent future ice dams from forming. To learn about how you can protect your association from ice dam issues, contact the experts at RTD Ice Dam Removal at (651) 699-3504.