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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

You Have To Watch Out For Those Ice Dams

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

This is how an Ice Dam is created. As you can see from the SERVPRO diagram that the snow/ice melts and freezes on the slope of the roof creating ice dams.

An Ice What?

If you have never heard of an ice dam before, a roof has nonuniform roof surface temperatures that cause the snow and ice to melt. This becomes problematic because it refreezes on the areas of the roof that is frozen. This causes pools of water to sit on the roof with nowhere to go. The water will find cracks and come in through the exterior roof coverings, which seep into the attic. I wish it stopped there, but there is the chance that it can flow into the exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation, which will stain the ceiling finish. 

Nonuniform Rood Surface Temperatures

The primary source that causes ice dams is the source of heat/energy that melts certain frozen areas on the roof. When certain spots on the sloped roof melt, there is a heat source on the inner side. There are three ways that the ice on the slope can melt:

Conduction is when the heat/energy travels through a solid, insulation, and roof structure.

Convection is when heat/energy is transferred from rising air to your hand, roof.

Finally, heat/energy can be transmitted by electromagnetic waves known as radiation. 

To avoid a heating source from being created, you should ensure that all access points to the attic are well-sealed so no heat escapes through the ceiling. These are just a few ways to be proactive in preventing ice dams from forming. 

Limiting the Heating Source by Adding Insulation 

One way to eliminate the possibility of having access to heat/energy from escaping your home is by installing more insulation. When installing insulation, you should find one with a high R-value per inch to ensure all heat stays in the house.

Purchasing A Roof Rake

If you cannot install more insulation, you could always hire SERVPRO but purchase a roof rake. This tool can help pull down access snow to help minimize the source of the water damage. 

If you find yourself in a winter wonderland of a mess, please reach out by CALLING US at 888-886-5195; you can call the local Marshall number 660-886-5194 or the Columbia location at 573-449-1999.

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