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Ice Dams, Attic Condensation and Roof Leaks | How To Combat Winter's Mess

It's been many years since Indiana's seen temperatures this cold! We've had a lot of homeowners calling with concerns of a roof leak, seeing condensation on walls and ceilings or what is thought to be a leak due to ice damming. How do you know if it's a serious problem or just an act of nature?


If you're experiencing condensation on your walls or ceiling, water dripping from nails in your attic or have a roof leak with recent weather, ABC Roofing is here to help!


Condensation can occur when warm air circulating through your house meets the cold air in your attic or walls which results in the moisture you're seeing. Water dripping from your ceiling, trailing down your walls or dripping from nails in your attic are a good indicator this is what's happening. With the weather being in the negative digits then the quick warm up, this is most likely the cause and you may never have this issue again. It may also mean that your home's ventilation and insulation need to be assessed.


Insulation and ventilation allow your home to breathe and work to keep the temperature inside your home consistant. When there isn't enough insulation, warm air escapes into your attic meeting the cold temps of your roof decking which can cause condensation (as demonstrated in our picture), among other issues. It's important to check your attic insulation and ventilation to ensure you have the proper amount to reduce the risk of any issues that may occur during winter.


Ice damming is another problem our clients have been dealing with. Unfortunately, our first instinct is to assume we have a roof leak due to defective shingles or some other roofing issue. During winter's like this, it's quite often just an ice dam. When it comes to Mother Nature, there's not much you can do other than remain vigilant. Ice damming CANNOT be prevented. There are measures you can take to reduce your risk but don't be fooled by promises of a product that will magically "prevent" ice damming- it's just not true.


Ice damming occurs when snow and ice accumulate on your roof, heat from your home rises and meets the cold surface of the roof decking in your attic which begins to melt the ice dam from the bottom causing it to melt leaving the water nowhere to go but in. Again, this is an "Act of God" and cannot be prevented. Your roof may be 10 days old or 10 years old, you simply cannot stop Mother Nature.


You may be wondering, what can I do?


1. Nothing. We know this sounds discouraging but sometimes all we can do is let Mother Nature run it's course. As stated in the article, with the drastic temperatures and precipitation this season, you may never have these issues again. You should, however, contact a qualified contractor to assess the area to ensure it's not major problem. Once everything is ruled out, just watch the area and wait.


2. Check your insulation and ventilation to redue your risk of condensation in the home


3. Seal any gaps where heat may be escaping into the attic (we recommend contacting a qualified company to do this)


4. Check humidity levels in the home. Make sure any hole House Humidifiers are set between 35-45%. Humidity equals moisture so be sure the humidity levels in your home are where they should be


5. Get a dehumidifier. If there's too much moisture in the home a dehumidifier is a gret option! Not sure how to check the levels? There are qualified contractors who will come to check humudity levels in your home for free and can make recommendations.


6. Make sure your gutters are cleared out before winter. Built up debris with snow and ice accumilation will freeze and clog your gutters which can cause water intrusion into the home.


7. Get roof melt tablets or a roof rake. Once the snow fall, use a roof rake to scrape snow from the perimiter of the home. This helps snow and ice to drain. If there's a good snowfall, take roof melt tablets and toss them on the roof around the perimeter of the home. You can also toss them into your gutters which will melt down any icce formation and will allow for proper drainage.


8. Install heat tape. Heat tape can be turned on after a good snow. It wil begin to melt the snow and ice accumulation allowing for water drainage. It's designed to reduce ice from forming causing an ice dam.


Water intrusion of any kind can be very stressful. ABC Roofing urges homeowners to remain vigilant and we are here to help. If you're experiencing condensation or suspect you have a roof leak, call our office today. Best of all, there's no charge. Our highly qualified staff are here to help!




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