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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How An Ice Dam Causes Mold in Your Lebanon, NJ Home

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Ice dams can cause mold to grow on your ceilings, walls, floors, carpet, and even in the insulation of your home.

Mold growth during the winter is something most homeowners don't have to worry about. But when ice dams form on the roof of your home, mold growth becomes a high possibility. Learn everything you need to know about how ice dams cause mold in your New Jersey home here.

How Do Ice Dams Form?

Ice dams form when the temperature of your attic is above freezing, melting the snow and ice on your roof. This snowmelt runs down and refreezes at the edge of your roof, as it isn't warmed by the attic and has a cooler temperature. This causes large areas of ice to form at the edge your roof and along the gutters, which prevents melting snow from draining and causes the problem to become worse.

These can also form when there has been heavy snow and the warmth of the sun causes the same phenomenon to occur. This is because large amounts of snow will get pooled in the gutters and then freeze into a large block when the sun sets and temperatures cool.

Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold?

Ice dams cause mold because of the water leaks and water damage they cause to your home. Snow and ice continually melting and refreezing on your roof will cause water to get behind shingles and shift them when it refreezes. Over time, this will cause water leaks in the roof and attic of your home. You may notice wet ceilings, walls and insulation, water stains, buckling of walls or floors, and bubbling paint or wallpaper.

When water enters your home, it creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. This is because mold thrives on moisture and grows quickly as long as it has warm enough temperatures. The mold feeds on the materials of your home - the wood, drywall, wallpaper, carpets, insulation and other areas can all be affected by mold growth.

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams?

The problems caused by ice dams can be avoided if you take the proper steps. Dealing with water damage and mold growth in your Lebanon, New Jersey home can be a major headache and be costly to remediate.

You can help prevent ice dams and mold growth by:

  • Making sure your gutters are clean and free of debris so melting snow can be drained away
  • Providing proper ventilation in your attic so that your roof stays cool
  • Making sure no exhaust fans discharge in the attic - make sure they lead outside to preventing warming the roof
  • Taking steps to properly insulate your attic from the rest of your living spaces so that warm air doesn't escape up to it
  • Making sure any ductwork in your attic is well-sealed
  • Taking steps to clear snow off your roof, using a roof rake before it has a chance to melt and refreeze

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