Winter brings snow, ice and rain. With moisture being so abundant, water damage is likely to happen in your home or business. As a property owner in Central New Jersey, I’m sure you know about frozen pipes but are you aware of ice dams? Ice dams are difficult to spot. Depending on the number of stories on your property, you may even need to use a ladder to see your entire roof. However, using a ladder in the snow and ice is not safe. If you’ve had an ice dam before, have a low-pitched roof or have an uninsulated attic, your chances of experiencing an ice dam are much greater.
What are ice dams?
Ice dams are barriers of ice on the perimeter of your roof. When heat escapes from your attic and melts the snow piled behind the barrier of ice, the snow melt gets trapped on your roofline. The water often finds its way through small cracks in your roof creating severe water damage. Interior ceilings and walls are often affected by this water damage. Check your roof for uneven snow melt throughout the winter season.
Add insulation to your attic. Even if you already have some it’s a good idea to inspect the condition and amount of insulation present. You need more insulation living in the Northeast than most other climates in the U.S. Focus on the floor of your attic to limit the amount of heat escaping to your roof.
Inspect your roof for any cracks or damage. Replace missing shingles and patch any damage you find. Check for small openings around your chimney and vents. Your roof should be as airtight as possible. Small cracks can be filled in with calk or sealant. For anything larger, call in a professional.
If you feel safe doing so and have a single level home, you may be able to clear the snow off your roof. Otherwise, call a professional. Using a snow rake while on a ladder is unsafe if you don’t have the correct tools and experience.
Just closing your attic hatch won’t cut it. There are still many paths for heat to escape. Once this happens it’s only a matter of time until it reaches your roof and causes an ice dam. Recessed lights, electrical outlets and wiring have spaces that can easily contribute to the travel of hot air. Test the severity of your attic bypasses. You can do this by turning on all the lights in your home, going up to your attic and looking for points of light.
Ice dams cause extreme water and mold damage when left untreated. Don’t let a disaster ruin your winter season. ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration Services is here to provide water damage cleanup services for Central New Jersey. Contact us 27/7 to request emergency restoration services for your home or business. Our mission is to offer the highest quality of service and satisfaction.