Chicago winters can wreak havoc on more than just our moods and skin! Kevin Ramirez, owner of Restoration 1 of North Shore Chicago gives advice on protecting your home this winter.
Article in the words of Kevin Ramirez
Ice damming is a winter event that is often overlooked and can cause substantial damage to your home. It is snow melting on your roof, then it refreezes and turns into ice. The result is a dam that is created along the eaves to trap more snow melt and it continues to cycle. This sounds a simple process, but it can cause considerable damage to homes through evidence of peeling paint, water stains and water dripping from the ceiling. (It is more noticeable near the walls and windows.)
Ice damming occurs because heat from the home rises to the attic and the roof decking. The heat from the home and the sun melts the snow. It then runs down the sloping roof near the eaves where it is colder. The result is a dam, like the one you see in creeks and streams. The dam will cause water from melted snow and ice to leak into roofing material- and eventually find its way into the home.
As a homeowner, how do you take the necessary precautions to mitigate this? Have a professional insulation expert evaluate your current insulation. They can recommend and install the necessary insulation type and amount for your home.
Have a roofing professional determine if you have enough ventilation in your attic to provide a roof that will be lower than 30 degrees. You could add heating cables to assist the melting water to escape down toward the gutters.
You could change the roofing material to metal or install a metal band at the eaves, it has less friction and will help prevent the ice to dam.
Back in February of 2021, we received 18 calls in 5 minutes to repair damage from ice damming! 18! Yes, it was crazy. When we jump into action we have our roofer fix the leak first, then cut out the affected ceiling, dry the affected area and add anti-microbial to counter any microbial growth (begins in 72 hours (about 3 days)). We leave our dehumidifiers and fans for a few days and have our reconstruction partner repair the hole and paint. This is expensive, but depending on your homeowner’s policy, insurable.
Finally, if you did not have the opportunity to be proactive with the insulation and roofing tips, there are ice dam professionals who come out to clear your roof of snow to minimize the chance of ice damming even happening.
I hope this brief article was helpful. If you have any questions, or have ice damage, please contact me at any time.
Owner of Restoration 1 of Chicago North Shore