While temperatures have been unusually high in the greater Chicago area heading into the heart of the holiday season, we all know from experience that they won’t stay in the 30s and 40s for long. And the Chicago landscape won’t be snow-free for too many more weeks, either.
When those cold temperatures and falling snow inevitably arrive, ice dams have the tremendous potential to form on your Chicago home or business. What are ice dams? According to American Family Insurance, they’re formed when heat from the inside of a building escapes in the attic and warms the roof decking during winter. This heat, combined with heat from the sun, can melt the snow on the roof.
The melted snow then runs down and refreezes at the roof’s edge, where temperatures are significantly lower. Icicles or ice sheets can then block melting snow, causing it to back up under shingles or fascia boards. From there, it can soak through the roof decking or wall sheathing, causing water damage to attics, ceilings, walls, floors, carpets, and furniture.
If ice dams have caused interior water damage to your greater Chicago area property, call ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons immediately for expert water damage restoration. Our professional water damage specialists will work quickly to assess your needs, remove any water and resulting water damage, and speed up the drying process. If water isn’t removed quickly and properly, it can continue to cause more damage, not to mention it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold, which in turn causes mold damage.
Property owners are most likely to see ice dams form when a significant amount of snow—anywhere from 8 inches and up—has fallen. That snow build-up, coupled with inadequate insulation and poor ventilation in a property owner’s attic, are the main culprits.
Fast action is necessary if ice dams have formed. That’s because the more time that elapses before prevention and treatment, the greater the water damage. Experts recommend that property owners cautiously pull snow off the tops of their buildings using long-handled roof rakes. To stay safe, keep your feet on the ground while using the rake and be careful not to come into contact with overhanging wires.
The next step is to contact a licensed insulation contractor or homebuilder to ensure that the attic is properly insulated. The proper amount of insulation, which is needed to minimize the amount of heat escaping into the attic from the house, can vary from one building to another.
It is also essential to have adequate attic ventilation so that any heat lost from the interior of the building is drawn up and out of the home. Adequate ventilation also helps the roof deck stay cool and allows any moisture that builds up from regular daily activities to escape.
ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons serves 18 Chicago neighborhoods, including the Chicago Loop, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, and Old Town neighborhoods. Contact us immediately at 773-376-1110 if ice dams (and the subsequent water damage they can cause) are plaguing your Chicago area home or business.