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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Ice Dams in Knoxville, TN Causing Water Damage

5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Ice Dams in Knoxville, TN Causing Water Damage Ice Damage

SO JUST WHAT IS AN ICE DAM?

In the latest round of winter storms in Knoxville, TN, ice dams are forming on roofs all throughout the region, resulting in some substantial water damages. Which begs the question, just what exactly is an ice dam?

Simply put, an ice dam occurs when a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof, preventing any melting snow from draining as it should, in to the gutter or off of the roof. Water backs up behind the ice dam and can leak into the home, possibly damaging walls, ceilings, insulation, and other interior building materials. (See a diagram of a typical ice dam to the right.)

What are the causes of ice dams? In most cases, once the roof is covered with snow and ice, it's the result of heat and warm air released into the attic or roof space. Once enough heat and warm air builds up, it can begin melting the bottom layer of moisture on the roof. With no place to drain, water can find its way into the roof, backing up under the shingles.

Most importantly, it's critical to understand that while ice dams can cause water damage to your home, it's not advisable to ever get on a roof to try and "fix" the problem, as a wet, frozen roof is an extremely unsafe environment, even for the trained professional.

Once ice dams are present, there is little to be done that is not potentially harmful to the roof. Using tools to break the ice can result in holes in the roof and damage to shingles. There are professional companies that use steam to mitigate ice dams, but here in Knoxville, TN, it's not a common enough occurrence to warrant companies here to have that expertise.

The best way to prevent ice dams is to ensure proper ventilation and insulation within your attic. SERVPRO of West Knoxville/Concord has the capability to mitigate and clean up water damages from the ice dam, but not remove the ice dam itself. It's best to let all the water stop infiltrating before cleaning, as there may be additional extraction and damages that occur. To find out more about our services and storm response, click here.