How to Prevent Water Damage from Ice Dams

The winter is a beautiful season of calming snowfall with beautiful white landscapes from door to door. Now, if only this frigid time of the year was as peaceful as the dreamlike fantasy that we make it out to be! Winter is often romanticized, but home and business owners must be aware of the troublesome conditions that follow winter weather. Ice dams are just one of the many natural occurrences that pose a threat to a building’s structure, and consequently your overall health. Below All Jersey Environmental Services highlights everything you need to know about ice dams and how to protect the buildings you live and work in everyday.

What is an Ice Dam?

An ice dam is a buildup of ice from melted snow that freezes near the edges of a building structure – typically in the gutters. This prevents the melted snow from draining off of the building towards the ground. This essentially creates a backup of liquid with nowhere to go except into the building, which can further damage the interior of the home or office. Ice dams can form fairly quickly, so home and business owners must be vigilant to prevent the onset of its destructive effects.

How Ice Dams Form

Ice dams form when the conditions are perfect for repeated freezing and thawing. When snow settles on the roof, some of it will melt and trickle down into the gutters. This excess water will then freeze to an extent that no water is able to escape. Unfortunately, the water doesn’t stay stagnant and will seep into the underlying structure of the building. Ice dams also have a direct relation to poorly insulated attics. The heated air from within the home – and lack of insulation – will rapidly melt the snow as the newly formed liquid makes its way down the slope of the roof.

What Can Ice Dams Damage do to a Building?

When ice dams get out of hand they can become quite problematic. The following describes what ice buildup can do to the structural makeup of a building:

  • Melted snow can make its way into the building through various points of entry – wherever the ice dam is. The water will seep in and begin to saturate the insulation, walls, ceilings and other interior properties.
  • Water can enter directly through the roof. When ice dams grow and strengthen, the water backs up into the roof and lift the shingles. The raised shingles allow for easy entry.
  • Gutters may be pulled off buildings entirely when they become too heavy. Gutters can only handle so much pressure, and when they’re gone, flooding issues can occur without the proper drainage in place to take water away from the foundation.
  • Attic insulation can soak from the water and prove inefficient to even be in the home. Reinstallation must be performed to correct the damage.
  • Mold can develop in various parts of the building when ice dams are not found in time. When the mold intensifies, it can become a major health hazard without the proper remediation.

Ice Dam Water Damage Prevention in NJ

Precautionary measures should be taken to prevent ice dams from forming on your home or business. The following list highlights some preventative measures to protect your building from ice dams.

  • Insulate the attic floor to prevent extra heat from rising.
  • Make efforts to regularly clear the roof.
  • Identify and remove potentially problematic heat sources.
  • Ventilate your attic properly.
  • Clean the gutters.

Water Damage Repair in New Jersey

When you make conscious efforts to prevent ice dams, your home and work place will be protected from the negative effects of the cold winter. In the event you need extra assistance to prevent and fix water damage from ice dams, you’ll need a professional to get the job done right. Contact All Jersey Environmental for accurate and efficient water damage repair, ice dam prevention and moister management. We’ll be happy to answer any questions about our services or home inspections that you may have for us. To learn more about us, please read our blog for more health and mold remediation tips.