New York, NY, February 4th, 2016
Last month brought the Blizzard of 2016 to much of the East Coast. The storm dropped from six inches of snow in Georgia to almost 27 inches in New York’s Central Park. Some parts of the Northeast received up to 40 inches of snow. For New York City, it was the second highest snowfall amount in recorded history.
All of this snow can mean problems for residential and commercial property owners in the form of ice dams. Roofs with significant snow accumulation are often susceptible to the formation of ice dams as melting snow refreezes at the edge of the roof. These ice dams can allow water to back up behind it and leak into a home or building resulting in water damage and potential mold growth.
According to the U.S. Government’s Energy Star Program website, “Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. The ice dam can cause damage to the roof, which will result in water leaks to the inside.”
“Ice dams can often be prevented by controlling heat loss from the building into the attic,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “People are advised to prevent warm and moist air from entering the attic space from the interior of the building by sealing any air leakage pathways and ensuring the attic is properly insulated. Proper attic ventilation can also help to keep a uniform roof temperature.”
Property owners and tenants that do encounter the formation of an ice dam on their home or business should be on the lookout for signs of water damage. Moisture that enters a property can allow for the growth of mold which can quickly turn into an indoor air quality issue. If the water damage necessitates the demolition of walls, ceilings or other parts of the building, people in older structures should also be on the lookout for asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paints before any work begins.
To assist people with ice dam issues, EMSL provides testing solutions and sampling supplies to identify mold, lead and asbestos. They also offer several types of moisture meters that can be instrumental for identifying wet building materials. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about ice dams, water damage and mold that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/oH9HBCEi8OA.
To learn more about testing for mold, asbestos, lead or other environmental, health and safety concerns, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.