Monday, February 10, 2014

Ice Dams versus DAMN Ice

Here is the fun of winter. Don't you just love it? No? Well me either. Yesterday I started having water dripping into the reading room, right above the bay window. I am not much of a home owner. Nor do I know anything about home maintenance. What I do know I have been forced to learn in the past two years, since Richard has gotten too sick to take care of things anymore. And because of the dementia, he can't tell me what I am supposed to do. So I know about changing furnace filters, fixing dripping faucets, what kind of oil to put in the car. How to hire a roofing company to put on a new roof. How to fire and hire a new insurance company. How to get a new furnace repaired when it is freezing outside. How to buy a new A/C when the temps are in the 100's. I have learned a lot. 

But I have never heard of ice dams. Have you? Probably if you live in parts of the country, where you are used to these extraordinary freezing temps, like we are getting this year, then you have heard of it. An ice dam forms when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roof line. That is what you see in the picture above. It is about 3-4 inches thick. So what happens is when the weather starts to warm and the snow begins to melt on the roof, the water runs down and cannot drip off the roof because of the frozen ice dam. So it backs up and makes its way inside the house underneath the shingles. What????? Thus, It is running under the outside soffit under the eaves and coming right through the sheet rock into my reading room.

I have been in contact with my insurance company and the roofing sales rep. The insurance man gave me ideas on how to remove it. The roofing rep said to leave it alone. We have a warming spell coming up. It will melt and then we will see what we have to do the fix the problems it has caused. Crappola!!

Sometimes I think if it weren't for bad luck I wouldn't have ANY luck at all. 

Off to look for new drips indoors.....




17 comments:

  1. do you have a roof rake? It does not look like a rake, but that's what it is called. If you keep up with raking the snow off the roof within a few feet of the edge of the roof, the likelihood of a dam is reduced.

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    1. Nope! Up until I have been reading about ice dams on Google, I never even heard of a roof rake. I need to find one of those for next winter. Too late now to try to rake a DAM off. Thanks for the advice though

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    2. I just want to add that I agree with your Crappola!! expression. We use that at our house from time to time.

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  2. This is why I'm not a homeowner!

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    1. I feel the exact same way Kwiz. When I get to do it my way. I am selling this house and looking for a condo! Maybe even somewhere that is lots warmer

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  3. First time visiting and commenting on your blog. I hadn't heard of ice dams, but I did know from the 8 years we lived in Montana that people would rake their roofs like another commenter said so that snow would not accumulate too much on the roof. I hope your problem gets solved sooner than later with minimal fuss!

    betty

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    1. I read about roof raking when I was researching on the internet Thanks for visiting!

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  4. Yes we have had this problem. It wasn't a major one and remained undetected for years. It was such a small drip. But over time it did cause damage to a patch of dry wall in our living room. We had several vendors out - we even replaced the gutters on that side of the house - because the "fix" was not easy to find. This went on for several years.

    Finally I found a company - it was a mom and pop kind of company - who main job was house repairs. I told him that he needed either to go up into my roof or get on a darn ladder and problem solve this issue from about 12 inches away instead of from the ground (yes, I know, that fact should be obvious but it is amazing how often you have to state the obvious to vendors who don't want to problem solved this issue - just sell you something and be on their way.) So this guy got up on a ladder (3 stories up), found where the staining was - that indicated repeated wetting, and did a fix - THAT ACTUALLY WORKED!! Of course it took a while to determine if it actually would to the trick because the conditions were dry when he did the repair. Traveling water doesn't always leave a road map to follow. Now 6 months later I think it was fixed. All because of a big ice dam we had one winter years ago.

    But it is important to fix this - because frequent dampness can lead to mold in a house - black mold - which is very expensive to fix. Black mold must be fixed for the health problems it can cause. And it is amazing how many people have mold and don't know it until they have a big mold problem. Of course, if you dry out the dampness - the mold dies off and it is no longer a problem ... so I am told.

    All because of an ice dam that caused a leak of water into our house - small small drip that over time finally made itself known through my wall board and damaged about 6 inches of ceiling. Water is a powerful force.

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  5. *gulp* ... sorry I wrote so much. Also ... I don't want to be scary - I should have also said the mold does take time to become a problem. One leak doesn't cause mold. But over time ... an unfixed leak can be more of a problem than you can imagine.

    I agree with your other commenter. I would rather live in a condo, but unfortunately, we find ourselves in an area where a move would result in more ongoing expense - not less. So we are stuck with being home owners.

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    1. A move for me will be down the road. After I can sell the house! When I am finding that I am a single lady again. I do not want to be stuck being a homeowner when I am too old to do anything about the problems and never having the money to do it with.

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  6. That sucks!! Our gutters got taken out a few years ago with an ice storm and we haven't replaced them yet. The downside...we get wet when it rains, but I'm glad we don't have to deal with ice dams. Praying for you. Love you friend.

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    1. Fortunately the ice dams are gone. No more leaking into the reading room. Now I just need to get someone up into the attic to see if it got wet. We will need to worry about that if we have a mold issue up there. We don't have any gutters either. I need to work on that

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  7. You need to do more than just raking the roof to prevent ice dams from building up. Since you are keen on searching solutions for your household problems online, I suggest you search about the long term effect of proper insulation in preventing ice dams, and how to implement them in your home. I think that will solve most of your household problems during the winter. Good luck!

    Natalie Baldwin @ EnviroTech Insulation Inc.

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