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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid Commercial Water Damage by Preventing Ice Dams

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

Icicles hang from a building Icicles hanging off your commercial building can be a sign that water damage is occurring. Follow our tips to avoid trouble!

Icicles hanging from your business’s gutters may look lovely this time of year, but what’s not lovely is the water damage that can result! Those icicles may be a sign that water is backing up under your roof. From there, it can seep through ceilings, walls and insulation, and create a real water disaster, putting your furnishings and structure at risk of costly water damage. Take steps now to prevent ice dams from forming on your building.

But how do icicles and snow cause water to penetrate your building’s roof? They’re frozen, right? Not always.

When snow piles up on your roof and is melted by the warmer air below the roof inside your building, here’s how ice dams can form: the water begins to run down toward the eave, but then refreezes as it’s exposed to air and snow. The process repeats itself until a solid hump of ice has formed just above your gutter, often with those shimmering icicles dangling below the gutter. But that ice blocks the path of any further meltwater—which, with nowhere to go, gets forced back up under the roofing. Here comes water damage!

Ice Dams? Not on Your Commercial Building!

The best way to prevent ice dams is to make sure that the space beneath your commercial building’s roof never gets warm enough to melt snow. And the best way to do that is to focus on properly insulating and venting that part of your building.

  • Learn and follow the guidelines and codes on how to insulate your building. The goal is to avoid losing heat through the ceiling of your workspace.
  • Use foam sealant and foam-backed boards to seal off any areas where warm air is leaking out of your workspace. Likely culprits are channels where pipes and electrical cables travel through walls or ceilings; walls adjacent to masonry; and the space around HVAC ducts. These can all be sealed with spray foam. Boards can be used to seal off scuttles and other larger openings.
  • Improve your building’s roof and attic ventilation; this may include soffit vents, a ridge vent (if your roof is peaked) and baffles at the eaves.

Here are other ways to prevent ice dams:

  • Lay heated cables along the edges of your building’s roof to melt snow before it can form a curb.
  • Every autumn after the last leaf has fallen, have your gutters cleaned Clogged gutters can stop meltwater in its tracks, making it more likely to refreeze.

If you do spot an ice dam on your building, don’t wait for water damage to start! Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield and we’ll get right to work removing the dam. And if there’s any water damage to your structure, SERVPRO will take care of the restoration, from beginning to end.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield has specialized training and experience in water damage restoration services, fire and smoke damage restoration services, biohazard cleanup and natural disaster prevention and cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield (860.633.8791) any time.

If your business suffers a storm, fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

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SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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If your business suffers a storm, fire, water, wind, mold or biohazard disaster, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

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