A Look At Different Types Of Damage Caused By Ice Dams On Boston Homes

Monday, February 9th, 2015 by Jerry Sprague

boston ice damsOn the face of it, you may think it's pretty easy to spot an ice dam on a Boston home. After all, it's hard to miss a gigantic chunk of ice sitting at the edge of a roof. But uncovering the damage caused by those ice dams is a little trickier. Most of the time the damage is unseen, unless the ice dam has gotten to the point of causing leaks in the home. Even then, while you can easily pinpoint where the leak is, you can't always tell where the water is coming from.At GF Sprague, not only do we perform ice dam removal on Boston homes, we can identify, and often repair, areas that have been damaged by ice dams.

Ice Dam Damage

Ice dam damage comes in many forms. It's much more extensive than just the excessive weight that ice puts on the roof. The most common forms of damage from ice dams on Boston homes is:

  • Water Damage. Water is arguably the biggest threat to homes that have ice dams in Boston. As ice backs up under the roof and comes in contact with warm air from the inside of the house and it melts. The resulting water can cause damage to ceilings, walls, floors, and insulation. Serious water damage can led to buckled floors, collapsed ceilings, and weakened walls.
  • Mold. Water that sits for extended periods of time can cause mold. In some cases, it may lead to Black Mold, which is a more dangerous type of mold that is difficult to get rid of.
  • Roof Damage. As ice backs up under the shingles, they can get damages or even torn off. Ice dam removal on a Boston roof is necessary before the resulting water exposure affects the structural integrity of the roof.
  • Gutter Damage. Ice dams are notorious for causing gutters to rip right off the house. Even if they manage to stay in place, gutters often get warped and bent out of shape from supporting ice dams all winter.
  • Exterior Damage. Soffits, fascia, eaves, and even siding can all suffer water damage before ice dam removal in Boston has been performed. If gutters have been torn off, you may have damaged wood to repair. If the gutters stayed on, but held ice dams, the moisture could have weakened or eaten through any wood behind the gutter.


Discovering Ice Dam Damage

Visual inspections are our first line of defense in detecting ice dams on Boston homes. Once we are up on the roof we can see exactly where the ice is forming and pushing up under the shingles or behind the gutters. Depending on the home, we may be able to get into the attic and spot more damage, but a more likely situation is that the moisture will be unseen inside the ceiling and walls.To spot unseen water damage, we use infrared guns that can identify areas of moisture. Homeowners are always extremely surprised to see just how extensive the water damage is when viewed with the infrared gun.To learn more about ice dams or ice dam removal in Boston contact us!

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GF Sprague & Company, Inc.
45 Kearney Rd
Needham, MA 02494