But there are steps homeowners can take now to help prevent ice dams, said Remington Brown, senior engineering manager at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.
Anyone building a new home or re-roofing an existing one also should install protective membranes under the roof covering, to help prevent water from leaking through, Brown
These are watertight barriers that extend from the lower edge of the roof up the slope at least 24 inches past the exterior wall line.
This protective layer is often required by building code for new homes and re-roofing in areas where ice dams are known to occur.
"Early preparation is key to help prevent ice dams," Brown