What is Ice damming and how much damage can it cause?
Posted in Water Damage, on March 16, 2015
During the harsh Canadian winters, regardless of the city, large amounts of snow may build up on your roof. As the winter comes to an end and springs weather pushing through, the snow becomes more of a hazard. During this period, temperatures fluctuate between warm and cold, which can begin the process of ice damming.
The warm weather melts away the snow during the day, and the cold nights freeze the water. However, proper maintenance can help reduce the chances of ice damming to occur. It is vital to ensure that your eaves trough are clear of leaves and debris before the winter begins.
There are many preventive equipment and measure to take to eliminate ice dams. Some of the actions many home owners have already taken are, installing a guard around the eaves through to prevent the ability for ice to build up, ensuring there is adequate air circulation throughout the attic, and constantly removing snow build up. When ice damming occurs, there are a few possibilities for damages, both internally and externally. When ice begins to build up, it lifts the roof shingles which allows water to enter the attic. Should the roof be properly installed and in good conditions, there should not be any damages to the roof itself. When the ice melts, the shingle should go back to their positions and remain intact.
If the shingles are brittle or in poor conditions, then they may break or further breakdown. When water enters the attic, there are a couple of possible outcomes. First is there is a small amount of water that enters, and the proper air flow dries it up, and no real problems occur. The second situation is, there is small amount of water that enters and mixed with poor airflow in the attic and mold can grow on the plywood sheet, and wood studs. Thirdly, with the shingles lifted there is a possibility of warm weather to melt a significant amount of snow which can enter the attic, and pour down the sides of the walls. When water begins to enter the home through the attic, the initial signs would be water stains and peeling paint. As water enters your home, you would need two professionals. One a restoration company to clean out the damaged and wet materials, and the second would be a roofer. Many times a roofer may not be able to correct or change anything on the roof.
Should the ice melt and the shingle remain intact, then there is no issue to solve. A roofer should come to inspect regardless to ensure that there will be no further damages. Ice damming is a common occurrence, and can happen to any home. Should it happen to you don’t worry and don’t feel singled out. Ensure your roof is in good condition, and your attic is properly ventilated. Stay calm, call Canada’s Restoration Services to support on the cleanup and we will advise whether it is best to call your insurance or not.