Water damage can happen any time of the year, especially during the winter. If you’ve found yourself in a situation with a lot of water damage from snow and ice, we can help with water damage removal in Philadelphia and surrounding tri-state areas. However, knowledge, information, and prevention can go a long way.
As temperatures plunge and precipitation picks up, ice and snow can be a big problem for many homeowners. Not only does a wintry mix make travel difficult, it can cause serious damage to your home if not properly addressed. One of the most common problems in the winter is ice damming. Ice damming occurs when ice builds up on a roof. Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow melts and flows down a sloped roof, under an existing blanket of snow, until it reaches open air where the temperature is below freezing. When the meltwater reaches the freezing air, it turns to ice and accumulates, which forms a dam. Snow that melts later can’t drain through the accumulated ice dam. This occurrence can result in leaks through the roof into ceilings, walls, and insulation.
So, what causes snow to melt on a roof in the first place? Ice damming really occurs when snow is melted from underneath where it’s in contact with your roof. This means that your roof is releasing enough heat to melt the snow, but how? According to the University of Minnesota, there are three ways heat from your house can travel to the roof’s surface: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is heat that travels through a solid material, for example a piece of metal that could conduct heat. Convection is the process by which heat rises in the air. Radiation is when heat is conducted through radio magnetic waves. The most common way a roof heats up is through convection.
Ice dams can result in leaks through the roofing material, which can damage ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation. In addition, when an ice dam detaches from your structure, it can be a hazardous situation for anything in its path.
To prevent water damage and ice damming, you’ll want to ensure your insulation is sound. However, if water is already leaking into your property, preventative measures don’t cut it. If you’re experiencing an immediate need, there are a couple of things you can do to alleviate the dam. First remove snow from your roof before it becomes a problem. Allowing snow to accumulate is a breeding ground for ice dams. You can use a roof rake to assist in the snow removal but be careful not to damage your roof’s materials or structure. If removing the snow isn’t a quick enough option, try melting the dam. It might seem counterintuitive to add more moisture to an already-wet situation, but it can help. Making channels through the ice dam with warm water will allow the melted snow behind it to drain more efficiently.
Whether a catastrophe causes simple inconvenience or dramatic loss, change disrupts life. Although our tools are like all others whose trade is residential or commercial damage restoration, our focus is on you, our client. When we complete our work, we want you to have a sense that, in a way, your life and future has been rebuilt too. Contact us today for more information!