Ice Dams and Water Damage, Is your attic insulated correctly?
Winter weather is still going strong. The area just got a few more inches of snow and tomorrow most of it will melt just in time for everything to freeze again the following day. This last blast of winter will bring many temperature changes and all the ups and downs can cause temporary Ice dams, or water drainage to seep into any available space where it will settle and eventually turn to mold as the weather warms up.
Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. The ice dam can cause damage to the roof, which will result in water leaks to the inside. Frequently the result will be a water spot on the ceiling under the roof damage.
What to Do if an Ice Dam Occurs:
- Don’t get on your roof yourself, it could be dangerous.
- Avoid standing on the ground and “chipping away” at the ice. Not only could this cause damage to your roof, but you can be seriously injured by falling ice and debris.
- Having a roofing contractor fix your roof leak will not prevent future ice dams.
- Seal air leaks and duct air leaks in your attic to stop warm air leakage.
- Check your attic insulation, replace anything damaged and add additional. This prevents warm air from your home from getting in your attic.
- Provide adequate attic ventilation. Check to make sure attic insulation is not blocking roof ventilation. You want your attic to be the same temperature as outside.
- Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow. This will help prevent ice build-up in gutters.
Have an energy specialist or air sealing professional do an in-home evaluation. A good specialist will use diagnostic equipment to evaluate the performance of your home and generate a customized list of improvements.
Call SERVPRO of Highland Park/Deerfield Today 847-557-1080