First things first, if you have an ice dam right now and it is causing water to leak in from your ceiling, you will not be able to stop the leak until you remove the ice dam. Even after you remove the ice dam, all the ice and snow which has crept up under the roof, has to dissipate first. However, if you want to do your part and try to mitigate the ice dam water which is occurring now, here is some advice, which you can act on now to help reduce the amount of water leakage into your home.
1. Place some bath towels under the leak
Large bath towels or the type of towel you use for the beach is a good choice here. Monitor how quickly the towels are filling with moisture and setup an interval where replace wet towels with new drier ones. If you do not have a set of replacement towels available, you can wring out the one set on a set-time basis. Doing this will keep the ice dam water leakage from soaking down into the floor and spreading further into the home’s construction.
2. Water Bucket
If your water leakage is dribbling or dripping onto a specific area, buckets, pots, or pans, will assist you well here. If you have pets, please keep them out of this area. They like to investigate and sample the water; which is very unhealthy for them.
3. Use Fans
The more fans you have to use, the better. Even if you only have one, it will make a difference with the water leakage. Go ahead and set up as many fans as you have and get the air circulating. This circulation of air increases the evaporation rate of the water dramatically and will go a long way toward reducing long term water damage.
4. Turn Down Your Thermostat
Yes, turn down the heat and get it cooler in the area of the house which is experiencing the ice dam water leakage. I am not recommending that you get the room bone-chilling-cold, however, the cooler the better. The logic behind this advice is due to the cause of the ice dam itself. Warm air from in the house is leaking out through the roof and causing the ice build-up on the roof to melt. If you are able to reduce the room temperature by just 5 degrees, this will have a significant impact on the reduction and remediation of the ice dam water leakage.
5. Lancing the Boil!
If in your inspection of the water damage you see an area(s) of wet, or soggy sheet-rock, make a small hole or use your drill to allow the water to drain from this location. Usually, when this is done, you get a localized dripping of water that you can place a bucket underneath and capture the water leakage. I have used in the past such household items as a nail, fire poker, drill, to make the hole. This should not be hard to poke the hole. The surface area should be soft and soggy, which can be easily penetrated with any household item referred to earlier.
6. Space Heaters
Do NOT use space heaters in the same space as the water leakage. As I mentioned earlier, we are trying to reduce the temperature in the affected area in order to reduce the melting which is occurring outside in your home’s roofing system. And, we all know how dangerous it is to use any type of electrical equipment around water.
7. Snow Load
If you are able to get out onto your roof, or use a snow rake from the ground, go ahead and remove as much snow from your roof as possible. If this is not possible, or the weather conditions are too difficult, please call us at 1-781-209-6791. We have storm damage and ice dam removal crews standing by 24/7.
8. Insurance Claim
Call your insurance agent immediately if you have leaks. The insurance companies tend to be more generous and settle quicker with early claims.
9. Independent Damage Evaluation
Contact a company experienced in dealing with insurance work. These experts will inspect, then prepare a complete report on the damage, including photos and the use of Infrared which detects damage not visible to the eye. They should provide a cost breakdown to support a complete claim. A few will also help negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and sometimes obviate the need for an expensive public adjuster. While nobody can guarantee what an insurance company will eventually pay, this will greatly increase your odds of receiving a favorable settlement.
10. Protect Against Future Damage.
Find out how to protect your property thru tried and true methods for a safe, toasty, bone-dry, leak-free home!
IF YOU NEED OUR ASSISTANCE with any of the above, simply call or email us, we can help you! If you get a busy signal just email us with your contact info and a brief description of your problem. We will immediately book your appointment for the earliest possible time to meet with you at your home. Although your contractors will handle the work during your ice dam removal project in Boston, taking a few minutes to prepare your home can help the installation go off without a hitch. If you’re interested in having improvements made on your Boston home, call G.F. Sprague to schedule a consultation.
A Message By Jerry Sprague, the Owner of G.F. Sprague & Co. Inc.