It’s hard to say IT’S SPRING when it just keeps snowing and snowing! If you live in the Salt Lake Valley, you probably don’t have much stacked up on your yard but in the benches homes that face north still have up to a foot in some places. Then there’s all the snow in the canyons, Park City, Cache Valley, etc. We’re breaking records for snowfall left and right and when this stuff does melt some folks are going to be dealing with ice dams, water damage and mold.
During and after a snowfall, the snow on your roof can be warmed two ways leading directly to the snow melting: One way is through the sun’s rays which are refracted through ice crystals of the snowflakes that have collected on your home’s roof creating warmth and melting the snow. The other way is through the heat from the inside of your home escaping through the attic and it’s vents and warming your roof. When this snowmelt reaches your home’s cold gutters it can freeze into ice. This ongoing process of thawing and refreezing creates ice dams in your gutters. These dams can cause water to back up under the shingles of your roof or behind the fascia boards where it can lead to damage to the roof decking, wall sheathing or the ceilings and walls of your attic.
Ice dams can cause awful problems and cost a ton of money to fix. The absolute worst thing you can hear in your home or apartment is the sound of running water, a sound you didn’t cause by turning on a tap. If the water gets under your shingles it will pool in the attic and then run down your walls or inside your walls and could end up in your basement. The scary part is that you might not hear the water melting until it’s too late, when your ceiling can fall in on you. It starts as a bubble in the paint which can grow to a huge bubble before it pops and then woe and behold attic insulation and sheetrock come tumbling down onto the floor. Or it travels inside the walls and you find your basement has water in it from the roof dam. It can happen slowly or quickly depending on the outside temperatures and weather conditions.
The longer the melting water runs into your home, the more damage it will cause. Almost immediately mold will start to grow in any warm area of the home that the moisture touches. Mold can lead to serious breathing and health problems and many times isn’t discovered until it’s done havoc to your home.
If you see a large bunch of icicles hanging from sections of your gutter knock them down. You can also add insulation and heating wires on your roof and in your gutters to eliminate this problem.