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Living in Madison, Wisconsin, we’re used to battling through snowy, icy, cold winters. But just because we’re used to the icy cold, doesn’t make our homes immune to ice dams and the danger they pose to the health of our homes.
But first things first.
Two reasons ice dams can form:
Alright, now that we’ve reviewed what an ice dam is and how it forms, now we can talk about the repercussions in detail, specifically, mold growth.
The main problem caused by ice dams is the water and moisture that leaks into the home because the ice buildup keeps the water from draining properly. Mold thrives on moisture and grows by feeding on the materials that most homes are made of: wood, drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, etc. The final component necessary 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. Mold is essentially feeding on the home, compromising the structural integrity.
As mentioned previously, ice dams form when heat escapes into the attic. Thus, providing the temperature needed for mold growth. You don’t have to keep your home at 80 degrees for the heat to leak into the attic. Everyday activities in our homes such as cooking, laundry, showering and washing dishes should not cause problems UNLESS the attic is not properly insulated.
One of the major causes of condensation in the attic is the lack of proper ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom to get the vapor out of the home. Another major reason excess heat may build up in the attic is a direct result of builders negligence. The builder may have designed the home to send vapor from bathroom and dryer vents into attics, crawl spaces, or overhangs. This poor building practice will cause problems because moisture and heat will build up in the attic.
In addition to the visual clues of ice dams, here are some tips to help you determine if you have condensation issues.
If you think you need help insulating your attic, we highly recommend you contact Rockweiler Insulation. They have years of experience bracing Wisconsin attics for winter.
A&J Specialty Services, Inc. DKI is a full-service emergency and non-emergency restoration company serving all of south-central Wisconsin, Dane County, Madison, Middleton, Fitchburg, Verona, McFarland, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Columbus, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Delton, Portage, and surrounding areas.
A&J is a leader in the restoration industry, 24/7 water damage clean up and response, experts in black mold removal and mold remediation, sewage cleanup, specialty cleaning services, and smoke and fire damage restoration.