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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid Mold Damage by Preventing Ice Dams

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

When spring arrives in Johnson City, TN, and temperatures rise, snow can begin to thaw. But as the melting snow freezes each night, a ridge of ice can form on the edge of the gutters or eaves of the roof. The result is what many call an ice dam. The dam is a thick ridge of frozen water along the edge of the building’s roof that catches the melting snow and prevents it from draining off the structure. As the water backs up and refreezes, the weight can tear off shingles, damage gutters, and push water into attic or ceiling areas. That is why most building owners cringe when they see a long row of icicles cascading from their building’s eaves. It is typically a sure sign of ice damming.

Preventing Ice Dams

One of the most effective ways to stop an ice dam is by making sure the roof is cold. Although the dams are often a fact of life in areas with heavy snow, ice dams can be eliminated or reduced by taking the following steps:

• Top off attic insulation so it is 12 to 14 inches in depth.
• Close attic bypasses and control heat loss into the attic.
• Add attic soffit and roof vents to provide proper attic ventilation.

Also, by insuring continuous airflow within the attic, the chances the area will fill with residual heat are much less than without the airflow.

Avoiding Water Damage

When the frozen water dam forces liquid into the attic, walls, or roofing of a building, it can lead to mold and mildew growth. Mold remediation experts suggest drying out any wet or damp structural areas as soon as they are discovered because mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours. Since wet areas often hide extensive mold colonies, black mold can quickly grow inside the walls or within the ceilings.

If an ice dam appears on the roof of your building, take immediate action to protect the structure from water damage. A few preventative steps can go a long way in avoiding widespread seepage and costly mold cleanup.

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