Ice Dams 101
The cold season brings snow-packed roofs across the East Coast and with snow melt can come damaging ice dams. Serious damage from ice damming is often subtle and slow to appear. Stained ceilings and walls, peeled paint, damaged plaster are all easily recognized and repairable when weather again permits. But other damage is not as obvious and often goes unchecked until very expensive repairs become urgently necessary. Here is how to avoid these frosty formations, and what you should do if they do appear on your roof or cause damage inside your home:
What Are Ice Dams?
An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, usually at the gutters or soffit. When it forms, the water then backs up behind the ice dam and creates a pool of water. This pool of water can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and flooring.
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams are usually caused by heavy snowfall and improper ventilation in the attic. When the roofing system isn’t working right, indoor heat can rise through the ceiling into the attic and warm the roof surface. Snow on the heated part of the roof melts and flows down until it meets the part of the roof that is below freezing. At that point, the water freezes again. This process of thawing and refreezing is what causes an ice dam.
How to Identify Ice Dams
Below freezing temperatures come with warning signs on the exterior of your home. Here are some warning signs:
- Icicles are usually one of the first warning signs of possible ice dams on your roof – especially if they are large, about 2 to 3 inches or more in diameter.
- Ice buildup at the roof eaves
- A buckled drip edge
- Bowed face boards
- Bowed exterior faucets
- Bubbling paint
- Buckling joint tape
- Smells/odors of moisture
- Bowing baseboards
- Dark stains on hardwood floors
- Signs of mold, mildew, and air quality
- Stained ceilings and walls
Preventing Ice Dams
If you think your home may be prone to experiencing an ice dam situation this winter, it’s a good idea to investigate the current condition of your home. Here are a few suggestions for preventing ice dams:
- Check your roof for air leaks.
- Ensure your home is well insulated. A well-ventilated attic is a cold attic, and a cold attic will not support the formation of ice dams.
- Look for signs of inadequate ventilation. If you spot rust spots, rusty nails or a mildew smell these are all signals that moisture has formed on the inside of your roof.
- Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris. A clogged gutter causes ice and snow to build up.
- Install snow and ice slides. The slick metal allows snow to slide off the roof before it can melt and spawn an ice dam.
- Don’t let snow accumulate. Consult a roofing professional to remove snow accumulation from your roof.
- Inspect your roof regularly for signs of ice dams forming.
If you experience water damage from ice dams and melting snow this winter, call SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island at (401) 949-9955 to discuss your options and figure out a plan to keep your home and family safe. Our trained technicians can assess the damage caused by the ice dam and work with your insurance company to get all the problems fixed. Learn more about our water removal and water damage restoration services and contact us to schedule an appointment today!
The Right Equipment
SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island understands that using the proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. Our professionals will answer your call with fast action, exceptional equipment, and trained uniformed personnel. Certainly, the right tool for the job is vital to timely mitigation, but perhaps more important, these water damage professionals thoroughly understand how to dry a structure and personal property effectively.
Psychrometry is the study of air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.
Water can damage materials in two ways: first, by absorption through direct contact with water; and second, absorption of moisture from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process.
Restoration professionals must establish an environment favorable for drying. The restoration professional must also understand how to manipulate temperature and humidity levels to produce optimum drying conditions, without causing secondary damages through improper drying processes.
Rhode Island Weather Alert Information
As the last few months have shown, weather in Northern Rhode Island, as well as across the state for that matter, has been all over the place. To better prepare yourself for swift and immediate evacuation in case for an emergency, here are three basic weather terms you should be aware of.
A warning is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.
A watch is used when the risk of a hazardous weather or hydrologic event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so. A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.
An advisory is issued when a hazardous weather or hydrologic event is occurring, imminent or likely. Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings that cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.
If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at (401)-949-9955 or visit our website.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross continues to help people impacted by Hurricane Harvey while preparing to respond to Florida and the Southeast as powerful Hurricane Irma nears the United States and its territories. Hurricane Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record. People in the potential path of the storm should monitor weather reports and prepare accordingly.
The Red Cross has robust disaster response capabilities, which allow the organization to respond to two significant disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma without compromising assistance to those in need.
Though the rain has stopped falling in Texas and Louisiana, river and bayou flooding continues. Officials estimate as many as 135,000 homes may be impacted with more than 22,000 homes receiving major damage. In some areas, people are just beginning to clean up their flooded homes. The Red Cross is doing everything it can to get help where it’s needed. Access to many areas remains challenging but the Red Cross is expanding its reach into more communities every day. The Red Cross is working around the clock to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
More than 16,000 people sought refuge in 90 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas. The Red Cross is also assisting the Louisiana state government with emergency shelters. Even now, more than 3,100 Red Cross disaster workers have helped:
- Along with its partners, serve more than 906,000 meals and snacks;
- Provide care by supporting 26,000 mental health and health services contacts;
- Distribute more than 194,000 relief items like diapers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items for people forced from their homes; and
- Mobilize more than 190 emergency response vehicles to help deliver meals and relief supplies.
The American Red Cross is mounting a massive response as Irma heads to the United States. Red Cross workers are hard at work on many island nations throughout the storm’s path and, with Irma bearing down on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the American Red Cross is already there helping.
Hurricane Irma is currently a Category 5 hurricane with 185 mph winds. The storm has cut access to some islands and others may face similar challenges. In Florida, evacuations are underway and the National Guard has been activated. People are lining up for gas, making arrangements for disaster supplies, and getting their homes ready.
To prepare for Hurricane Irma, the American Red Cross has:
- Mobilized relief materials through Florida and the mid-Atlantic region.
- Staged responders in nearby areas so they may respond quickly.
- Planned to have the resources to shelter more than 120,000 people.
- Activated 80 emergency response vehicles.
- Prepositioned 100,000 shelf-stable meals.
Even as The Red Cross continues to operate shelters, serve meals, and provide critical relief supplies in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, some people have returned home and need assistance. The Red Cross will work with individuals and families to help them recover. The Red Cross will help residents start the recovery process by connecting them to needed services and resources. In some cases, the Red Cross may provide financial assistance.
Recovering from a disaster can be a challenging, emotionally draining and complicated process. Each community and each family will have different needs, and will require different support to meet those needs. Red Cross caseworkers connect one-on-one with people to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from other agencies.
The Red Cross works with government and nonprofit partners to help develop coordinated community recovery plans and strategies. In some situations, the Red Cross may give grants to partner organizations for specialized activities such as mold remediation or building storm shelters. Our recovery support could also include preparedness activities so people and communities are ready for the next emergency.
Prepare Your Home
Ask SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island about boarding up your home.
Tips from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for preparing your home for a hurricane.
- Cover all of your home's windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water.
Call SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island
@ (401) 949-9955
Commercial Fire Damage
Fire damage is no easy task, but as experts in the restoration field, we are trained and experienced to handle any fire.
After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:
- Is it safe to stay in the house?
- Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
- Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
- Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!
Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency? Call 401-949-9955!
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
Finding the source of the fire typically leads us to determine how to clean and remove soot particles.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page!
According to FloodSmart.gov, “floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. Flooding causes damage and destruction across regions nationwide, wiping out homes and businesses.” At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, our crews are ready to come and service your home in case of a flood, 24 hours/7 days a week. We make ourselves available for you and your family because we understand that heavy rains can occur anytime throughout the year. One step that is as important as having a SERVPRO Ready Plan in place is understanding your risk in the first place.
Outlined by FloodSmart.gov, there are three significant types of damages that can occur when heavy rainstorms begin. These include:
“A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours.” Flash floods have the ability and strength to take down trees, damage buildings, and even bridges.
“Mudflows are rivers of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land, often caused by a combination of brush loss and subsequent heavy rains.” These types of damages are in fact covered by flood insurance, but should be noted as different from landslides and slope failures.
Levees & Dams
Designed to protect against flooding, Leeves and Dams can decay over time, making them an extreme risk when there is extensive rainfall.
At SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, we care about our local community as well as all of those that live in the area. If you have any questions, or would like to contact one of our professionals, please call (401)-949-9955 or visit our website
Information for this blog was taken from FloodSmart.gov. For more information pertaining to this matter, please visit the aforementioned link.
No Damage Too Large Or Too Small
Your home is truly a reflection of you, your tastes and your personality. Suffering damage to your home can feel like a part of you has been damaged as well. We recognize a loss can make you feel vulnerable, invaded or robbed of part of your life. Your loss is unique - in how it started, the emotions experienced and the extent of the damage.
When damage affects your home, you want it to be restored to preloss condition. You cannot afford to let the marketability of your home be affected. That is why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have professionally restored property for over 40 years.
SERVPRO is the trusted choice for hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, because they know SERVPRO Professionals have the experience to do the job right!
Removing Oily Soils
Oily soils are removed in different ways. Some oily soils are light enough to be emulsified in water-based detergents. Other oily soils may be too heavy for detergents to be effective in removing them. These heavier soils can be dissolved with oil-based solvents.
Emulsifying Oily Soils with Detergents
Can we put something into water to help us clean oily soils? Yes - detergents! Water-based detergents are able to dissolve in water, but they are also able to attach to oily soils. Detergents pull the oily soils away from the surface, so we can extract the soils with the detergent.
Detergent molecules are made so that they have a water-loving head and an oil-loving tail.
The makeup of the tail of a detergent molecule is similar to the makeup of oil, gasoline, grease, and animal fats. The detergent's tail will dissolve substances similar to grease and oil. The head of the detergent molecule breaks oily soils apart and the head pulls them into the water, creating an emulsion. An emulsion means that the detergent acts as a connecting link between oil and water molecules, allowing them to be mixed evenly through the cleaning solution. The cleaning solution can then be rinsed out along with the emulsified soils.
Detergents have some drawbacks. If they are not rinsed thoroughly, they leave a sticky residue. Also, when detergents combine with hard water (water that contains minerals, such as calcium or magnesium), they make a salt. These salts will not dissolve in water, so they slow down the cleaning action of the detergent and form a scum.
Here at SERVPRO of Northern Rhode Island, we care about proper restoration of your structure. In most water damage situations, excessive mold growth is not a problem and our professionals can safely restore your building to preloss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental inspection. please keep in mind that we do not interpret insurance policies or coverage; you must consult your insurance company to determine the scope of policy coverage.
Health concerns may arise when excessive mold grows indoors. Concerns are more likely to arise for "at risk" people, which might include immune suppressed or compromised individuals, young children and individuals with chronic inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma and severe allergies. However, anyone may experience health problems associated with exposure to mold in damp buildings.
Possible health effects include: runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat or inflammation of the sinuses.
People most at risk include:
- Infants and children.
- Pregnant women.
- The elderly.
- People with compromised respiratory systems or asthma and allergies.
- People with weakened immune systems.