Preventing Ice Dams and Water Damage

Most homeowners worry about flooding and water damage in the basement, but there’s another room in the house that is also very susceptible to water damage. That room is the attic. During winter, the attic can be the prime spot for water damage and mold to develop.

The primary cause for this water damage is the development of ice dams. These ice dams form when warm air in the attic heats the roof and melts the snow sitting on it. That melted snow will then refreeze on the eaves, building an ice dam. This can lead to condensation forming inside the attic, which turns into water damage.

Removing ice dams can be dangerous to the homeowner and the roof shingles. It’s better to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips for prevention:

  1. Clean Gutters

If snow does melt, it needs a place to go. Clean, unobstructed gutters will allow for the melted snow to properly drain and not refreeze on the roof.  Have the gutters cleaned and inspected before snow hits.

  1. Insulate

The attic should not be receiving the heat that the rest of the house is. Insulate the attic so the heat cannot get into it. Add weather-stripping to the opening and increase the amount of insulation if necessary.

  1. Ventilation

Ideally, the temperature in the attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the air outside. Proper ventilation can help achieve this. Make sure the exhaust fans are working and pointed the correct way.

While prevention is key, sometimes condensation and water damage are inevitable. Homeowners who find themselves facing water damage and mold growth due to ice dams this winter should call All Star Plumbing and Restoration as soon as it is spotted. The faster water damage gets eliminated, the less structural damage it can cause.

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