Oh the joys of living in the great tundra. Snow storms, ice storms, below zero temps. Which all contribute to those awful things we call ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. The when water backs up behind the ice dam, it can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and your sanity.
So, what can we do? How can we fix this before we have to start tearing our house apart to fix the damage? Or before we end up wearing pajama's all day, day drinking. Here are a few solutions you can try (though we don't judge if you still choose to wear pajamas all day and day drink.)
The first thing you need to do is watch for the signs. Not all ice dam leaks are as obvious as some. A few signs you can watch for include:
- Unexplained ice or water on your exterior siding or windows
- Icicles under your roof overhand (soffit)
- Ice forming behind and below your gutters
- Strange bubbling or peeling paint on the inside of your home
- Ceiling textures are loosening from ceilings
- Water spots on your ceilings or walls
- Unexplained water on your floor
- Water dripping from light fixtures
For the short term, remove snow from your roof. A roof rake or push broom could be used. However, this can be dangerous (especially if you've been day drinking). We would recommend you reach out to a professional to complete this task.
Over the long term, increase your ceiling/roof insultation to cut down on heat loss (a primary culprit of ice dams). Make the ceiling air-tight so no warm air can flow from the house into the attic space.
These are only a few suggestions. We highly recommend reaching out to a professional if you suspect your have ice dams or damage from ice dams. Our winters can be harsh so being proactive can help prevent a bigger disaster.
This is also a great time to have a discussion with your agent to see what coverage you have in place. Don't get caught in that disaster without adequate coverage. You might get a cozy little room with padded walls if you wait to long (and not sure if you can day drink in those. Life's mysteries).