Ice Dams: The Mould Creator

Ice frost house

Ice Dams:

The mould creator

Well, Saskatoon, winter is here. Some of you may even have noticed the formation of icicles on the side of your homes. These are called ice dams, and while they can look pretty, they can actually cause a fair bit of damage to your home. Ice dams: the mould creator.

Ice dams can cause water damage as well as exterior damage to your home. Ice Dams: the mould creator!

In our last blog, we spoke briefly about ice dams. Given all the snow we’ve just gotten, it seemed like a good topic to revisit in detail.

Ice dams occur when the heat escaping from your house. The heat melts the snow on the roof and it runs down the side of a building. The problem is, when the ice dams melt, the water that backs up behind the dam can leak into your home (often in the attic). This can cause significant damage to your walls, ceilings and insulation, etc. Contrary to popular belief, your gutters do not cause ice dams, but they do concentrate ice and water. This can cause your gutters to bend and break from your house.

I don’t see any water, so my house is probably fine, right?

Unfortunately, no. water damage isn’t always visible right away but can still be present. This is where SDS DKI comes in, we can check for moisture before it turns to mould.

So, what can you do to avoid ice dams? Let’s break this down into two categories; immediate action and long-term action.

Immediate 

So, let’s say the latest snowfall has caused some ice dams on your house. You’ve got water flowing into your house’s structure, making channels through the ice dams will allow water behind the dams to drain off the roof.

Here are some simple ways to achieve this:

  1. Hose with tap water on a WARM day
  2. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam

It is important to note that this will be ineffective within days and is a TEMPORARY solution only.

This will give you time to call Saskatoon Disaster Services DKI. We will help you find a more permanent solution and repair any mould damage that may have resulted.

Cross section of a house with an ice dam
Here is a diagram detailing how water can seep into a house with ice dams.

Long-term Action

Make your ceiling airtight so no warm air can flow into the attic. Consider increasing the ceiling or roof insulation to cut down on heat loss by conduction.

Mould damage can cause significant issues for your home. If you spot any water damage to your home, know our team is ready to help. Our team has the technology to properly dry the area and remove the mould bringing your home back to pre-loss condition fast!

REFERENCES:

https://extension.umn.edu/protecting-home-rain-and-ice/dealing-and-preventing-ice-dams#roof-and-attic-ventilation-1977662

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/roofing/21017660/how-to-get-rid-of-ice-dams

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