News & Events

Mold From Ice Dams

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 by Anthony Picarello


Why Do Ice Dams Cause Mold?


Recently Got Mold? The long Boston winter and snow accumulation on roofs has lead to significant ice damming problems which ultimately leads to dangerous mold issues. Pictured below is a home in Medford that had ice damming issues…which lead to mold in the home!

Ice Dams

 

WHY DO ICE DAMS CAUSE MOLD?

The key problem caused by ice dams is the water and moisture that leaks into the home. Mold thrives on moisture and grows because it feeds on the materials that most homes are made of: wood, drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, etc. The final component required for mold growth is a temperature of 5 degrees to 38 degrees. As long as these three ingredients are present, mold will form and continue to grow provided it has food to feed on. This is the reason that the structural integrity of a home is compromised–mold is essentially feeding on the home.

Here are some general tips to prevent ice dams.

1. Make sure you have proper ventilation in the attic. Keep your soffit vent clear and open. Have a roofing professional check your roof and calculate the proper ventilation requirements. A well ventilated cold roof prevents ice dams.

2. If you have gutters on the house – keep them clean and free from leaf debris.

3. Ensure that your bathroom exhaust is vented through the roof and insulated if necessary.

4. Ductwork in the attic should be well insulated and sealed from leaks.

5. Air bypass – where warm air leaks through small cracks and openings – should be sealed. Check attic access ports in closets and can lights in the ceiling as potential areas of concern.

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CONDENSATION ISSUES IN MY ATTIC?

In addition to the visual external clues of ice dams, here are some tips to help you determine if you have condensation issues.

1. Check your attic for visual mold.

2. Check all penetrations in your ceilings such as light fixtures and make sure there is no excessive gaps between the fixtures and ceiling.

3. Make certain all drywall is finished properly with no gaps or cracks for moisture to migrate through.

4. Look for visible stains such as mold on the surfaces of the ceiling, walls of the living areas, floors, carpets, attic plywood sheathing, attic sidewalls, floor joist, wet insulation.

5. Check for moisture or high relative humidity over 65% and higher.

6. Smelling unusual musty or moldy odors is an indication that you may have a problem. High relative humidity or moisture may be the culprit.

If you are concerned that you may have ice damming issues, we recommend that you hire a professional to assess the situation.

We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to call us today 844-874-2776. A mold inspection is a cost effective solution to determining if you have to worry about ice damming, and the potential moisture and mold issues it causes. Peace of Mind, just a phone call away! Toll Free: 1-844-874-2776 or visit us online at pichomepros.com

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