When extremely cold temperatures hit it, especially for an extended period, it can cause ice dams to form as well as frozen pipes in the home.  Both can cause some major water damage that can require extensive mitigation and repairs to your home.

Ice dams can cause extensive damage to your roof, gutters, and downspouts as well as the inside of your home in ceiling areas or wall cavities. Frozen pipes can wreak havoc and a lot of water damage when pipes crack and break thus releasing massive amounts of water that have the potential to flood the home. Many times, when pipes break it creates water damage from overhead which result in falling ceiling materials which cause water to penetrate lower levels of the home.  We have responded to calls where the people have arrived home to ceilings hanging down dripping with water or it appears to be literally raining in their home. The result is not only damaged structural materials but damaged furniture, contents, carpeting, wood floors and cabinetry.  Wood is a semi-porous material that requires specialty drying methods that can be expensive and time consuming to get property dried out.

An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house.
Water damage from ice dams can occur from water dripping into wall cavities and ceiling areas. If you notice a wet spot in a ceiling under the attic, you could have an ice dam on your roof!  

Most of the damage from frozen pipes occur when your pipes begin thawing out. Once water freezes in the pipe, pressure is created that can crack the pipe so once the water thaws the pipe falls apart or burst thus letting massive amounts of water that can enter wall cavities or other structural materials. 

Once temperatures drop below 32 degrees or lower you should start taking precautions to prevent vulnerable pipes from freezing. Vulnerable pipes are normally in exterior rooms of the home or rooms with a draft or not heated well.

Here are some tips to help prevent a major water loss due to frozen pipes in your home.

1. Shut off the water supply and drainpipes or appliances if you will be away from home for even a day or two.
2. Ask someone you trust check your home about once per week if you are away.
3. Post emergency numbers handy such as a plumber, electrician, roofer, and Sage Restoration.
4. Protect pipes, fittings, and appliances against freezing with insulation or heat strips.
5. Have your HVAC system serviced before leaving if you will be away for an extended period.
6. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees.
7. Before leaving turn off your water heater. (See owner’s manual for procedures.)
8. Install storm windows and/or close shutters to keep in heat.
9. Keep faucet on to allow water to drip.

Follow these tips to prevent water dams from occurring.

  1. Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.
  2. Insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling.

3.Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing, so any heat that does leak through is carried away. 

In the event you experience water damage in your home you can count on the reliability of the Sage Crews to arrive with a sense or urgency, care and compassion and will make the recovery process fast and easy!



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