Recent Water Damage Posts
BEWARE OF ICE DAMS!
ice dam diagram
There's an old saying in Utah, "if you don't like the weather wait 5 minutes." So far our autumn has fluctuated quite a bit as far as temperature goes. You wake up in the morning freezing even through your winter coat, but a few hours later you're kicking yourself for choosing to wear a sweater. Not only do the highs and lows throw off your wardrobe game, but combined with some precipitation, can make a recipe for costly water damage to your home.
Ice dams are one of the leading causes of water damage during winter months. Ice accumulates near the gutter where no heat is escaping from the inside of the house through the roof creating a dam for all the melted snow above it. The standing water will eventually find it's way through the shingles, roof, insulation and finally the ceiling. Unfortunately, by the time any symptoms are visible it's already too late so prevention is by far the way to tackle the issue. If you're not wanting to take a ladder excursion up to the roof every time temperatures drop to freezing, heat tape (or coil) installed in the gutters and from the edge of the roof to about 6 inches passed the heated space of your roof will drastically decrease your chances of ice dams. No matter how you prevent ice dams please do so safely.
Avoiding Frozen Pipes
The sun sets a lot earlier, breath is visible outside and noses become runnier; these are all telltale signs that the weather is getting colder. Most people don't know, but along with the changes in bodily defenses the cold weather means frozen pipes. Why are frozen pipes such a big deal? As the water that is left in your pipes freeze the water expands opening up seams, cracks and holes in copper that pipes are made of. Eventually that ice will melt allowing all the pressurized water to find an escape through the gates created by that unforgiving ice resulting in water damage.
Most people don't know that there are some VERY easy and inexpensive ways to prevent this from happening.
1) Disconnect your hose!
2) Hose bib cover!
Very easy! Super inexpensive.
Icicles are beautiful, but can be dangerous and very costly.
Icicles, Mother Nature’s nose drippings solidified by her icy heart. The stalactites of our man-made dwelling caves and mercantile tents. Over the ages, prepubescent children have found numerous uses for our sparkly friends of descending girth, such as target practice for snow balls, swords for ice pirates and a flavorless popsicle treat that literally melts in the mouth. Though potentially dangerous if trodden beneath, nothing screams the ‘beauty of winter time’ like the transparent daggers that hang from our rooftops.
Did you know that Icicles can also be a sign that heat is leaking from your home into the attic and causing ice dams? It’s a good idea to safely check for cracks or gaps in the roof to avoid severe water damage when all the snow and ice begins to melt.
Supply Lines: The Unseen Destroyer
Watch out for these bad boys, they can end up causing a lot of damage.
Most people see that SERVPRO is a flood cleanup company and think, "I don't live by an ocean or pond or river so the chance of my house flooding is next to nothing."
What most people don't know is that most flooding calls we get come from broken supply lines. Supply lines are those thin hoses that run to appliances like refrigerators, dish washers, toilets, water heaters, clothes washers, etc. The quality and price of these hoses vary drastically. Most people opt for the least expensive option without knowing that cheap hoses need to be checked and replaced often. Sudden bursts and slow drips both can cause a substantial amount of damage which require flood mitigation and sometimes mold remediation. If you haven't checked you supply lines in a while, or ever, now would be a good time to do so.
How Can I Prevent Ice Dams?
That's a lot of dam ice.
An ice dam is a problem of house and building maintenance on sloping roofs in cold climates. Ice dams on roofs form when accumulated snow on a sloping roof melts and flows down the roof, under the insulating blanket of snow, until it reaches below freezing temperature air, typically at the eaves. When the melted water reaches the freezing air, ice accumulates, forming a dam, and snow that melts later cannot drain properly through the dam.] Ice dams may result in leaks through the roofing material, possibly resulting in damaged ceilings, walls, roof structure and insulation, damage or injury when the ice dam falls off or from attempts to remove ice dams.
The melting of roof snow comes from two reasons: Heat from inadequate roof insulation and heat leaks, and inadequate ventilation. This condition is called a warm roof and the heat conducted through the roof melts snow on those areas of the roof that are above heated living spaces, but the snow does not melt on roof overhangs. Also, a small amount of ice damming can occur from the normal freeze- thaw cycle melts snow on warm or sunny days.
The key to preventing ice dams is to keep your attic and roof cold. After a snowfall, a cold roof will have a thick blanket of snow. A warmer roof, however, will soon have clear spots where the snow has melted off, and may well have icicles hanging from the eaves.
To keep your roof cold, follow these three steps:
- Stop warm air from reaching your attic and roof. This typically stems from air leaks through your ceiling into your attic. Most of that comes from air leaks caused by gaps in the drywall, cracks around light fixtures, unblocked walls, plumbing pipes, chimneys, and access hatches. These can be hard to fix but can be done through the attic by plugging leaks with foam and caulk.
- Go into your attic and check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12 to 14 in. of fiberglass or cellulose. Add more if you have less than 8 in and have had ice dam problems in the past.
- Attic ventilation draws in cold outdoor air and flushes out warmer attic air, cooling the attic and the roof in the process. If you don’t have enough ventilation in your attic this could be causing ice dams and you might want to look into adding come ventilation vents.