February 18, 2015
February 2015 is a winner in the recent memory ice dam contest! Wow. The heavy snowfall coupled with unending frigid temperatures has created the "perfect storm" of ice damming.
Falling ice, big ice dam formation and a lot of interior water damage is currently the norm.
Our clients are asking "what can be done?" The short term answer is removal of the ice dam and removal of the snow above the ice dam. Easier said than done. Shovels and roof rakes work for snow removal, hatchets and hammers can be used (carefully) to remove ice dams, or create channels to allow "upstream" water to drain through the ice dam.
If interior damage has occurred, stop the leak as soon as possible and the use fans and dehumidifiers to quickly dry the damaged areas. It is possible that damaged hardwood floors will shrink back to normal, but repair/replacement may be required. Wood trim, plaster or sheetrock will need to be repaired/replaced, and painting the contiguous areas will blend well to wall and ceiling lines. Insulation will likely need to be replaced as well. If you want to change wall colors, now would be a good time to do it.
To prevent future ice damming, start with proper ventilation and insulation. It may or may not help. If venting and insulation do not work, or is archecturally impossible, install an icemelt system such as the one we use manufactured by Bylin. We have several hundred icemelt systems installed in the area, and have had no callbacks during this severe ice dam event.