Winter thaw causes expensive Spring Water Damage for Businesses & Homeowners

Spring has sprung and all Michigan residents are anxious to emerge from one of the coldest winters in history. Business and homeowners need to be careful what they wish for. Everyone thinks that they are ready for warmer spring temperatures, but what most doesn’t realize is that thousands of businesses and homeowners will be facing spring water damage, floods and property damage as a result of the spring thaw and a phenomenon known as ice dams, starting as early as today.

With warming temperatures this week, spring water damage is a serious threat. Homeowners should look for the telltale warning signs of ice dams, such as sheets of ice along shingles and icicles along the edge of eavestroughs, and check the second story windows and attic for frost accumulation. Before this ice melts, everyone is urged to call a trusted, experienced and certified roofing professional. Homeowners that take the unnecessary safety risk of trying to remove ice dams themselves end up causing far more damage to shingles and eavestroughs and can only remove the superficial ice. Also, getting up on a roof with unknown stability is extremely dangerous.

Ice dams are partly the result of heat that escapes from inside a home into the attic, which then warms the roof during the winter months. When combined with the sun and fluctuating temperatures, this causes the snow on the roof to partially melt and then accumulate at the edge of the roof or overhang, once eavestroughs are full, the ice begins to expand under the shingles, causing them to separate.

After having such a cold winter full of below zero temperatures along with one of the largest amounts of snowfall in history, all we can say is beware of the spring thaw water damage. We have received numerous calls this past winter for assistance with frozen pipes, burst water mains, ice dams on gutters and mounds of snow on roofs and buildings of homes and businesses.

We strongly urge winter maintenance to businesses and homes, such as cleaning gutters, down spouts, weather stripping around windows and door frames, checking for missing or damaged shingles, and even making sure of adequate installation. When these are neglected, it leads to a winter world of trouble! People may not be experiencing any types of leaks into homes and businesses now, but once the thaw comes that will be a different story. Rapid is already receiving calls for starting to see water coming into businesses and homes. With the temperatures 30 degrees or below, many possible water issues are still frozen, but now that there are sunny days and rising temperatures everyone is at risk.

Spring snow thaw, home and business owners alike will start to see water traveling into their structures. This is a major issue that will need immediate assistance. Ignoring water damage leaks in your home can cause multiplication of damages to a home or business. Some secondary damages insurance will not cover, such as mold.

Prevention is key to saving money and protecting your home and business – Five Tips for Michigan Business and Homeowners to Prevent Ice Dams & Winter water Damage:

  1. Have a roofing inspection to ensure your attic is well ventilated. If the attic is cold, there will be less melting and refreezing on the roof.
  2. Ensure your attic is properly insulated in addition to the attic floor to minimize heat from rising from the house and causing snow to melt, which will reduce the risk of dangerous mold.
  3. Install an ice and water shield membrane under your roof covering at least six feet from the eavestroughs line.
  4. Clean out eavestroughs regularly to remove leaves so melting snow and ice can flow.
  5. Look in your attic for signs of frost, ice and ice around the head of nails on the plywood roof sheeting.

Rapid Recovery Service has stayed busy all winter removing ice dams from roofs across Michigan because we know once that starts to melt, it can cause damage that will cost ten times as much as doing the preventative work. Even homes that have brand new shingles installed can face ice dams if they do not have a properly insulated attic. People often forget that their roof is not just about the shingles, it is an entire system that involves ventilation, insulation and the external materials that must all work together.

The dams form as warm temperatures, from either the attic or the sun, cause water to trickle beneath the snow. If the temperatures hover near freezing, the water begins to freeze as it reaches less insulated parts of the roof. The slowly melting snow feeds the damn until it is strong and blocks water from finding the gutters. From there, it will find any space to escape from, often finding its way into the walls of the home and pooling until it bursts.

If you are experiencing any leaks into your home, Please call the professionals at Rapid Recovery Service to take a look at it. Rapid Recovery Service professional water damage team is available 24/7 to handle all of your water damage emergencies. Call us – 888-778-3337

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