Winter weather can be extremely harsh on homes, especially when it comes to snow and ice resulting in water leaks from an ice dam. During significant storms like the one sweeping the Pacific Northwest right now, snow and ice can accumulate on roofs and in gutters creating what’s known as an ice dam. When the ice dam begins to melt, it can reveal previously hidden damage to your home. One of the most common and destructive symptoms comes in the form of water leaks from an ice dam from the influx of snow and ice melting. Here are some signs of water intrusion to look out for and the steps to stop more damage from occurring.
Water Leaks From An Ice Dam Cause Water Stains Inside Your Home
One of the first and most noticeable signs homeowners notice of water intrusion is water stains. If you start to notice brown stains on your walls or the ceiling, those are water stains. A large amount of snow and ice melting creates an influx of water that can seep into your home through faulty gutters or weather-resistant barriers. When liquid seeps into the surface and evaporates, it can leave dried deposits of discoloration – but simply covering up these stains won’t fix the issue! Ignoring these stains leads to further more costly damage down the line.
Damp Or Musty Odors
Another sign of water intrusion is a damp or musty odor. Musty smells are an indicator that water has been leaking long enough to start rotting housing materials. Generally, that musty smell indicates a much larger issue and should be addressed as soon as possible. Dry rot is one of the most common culprits of damp or musty smells. Dry rot is a fungus that slowly rots away the wood components of your home, compromising the structural integrity.
Wet Or Damaged Flooring
If you have hardwood or laminate flooring, you may notice that it has become warped or damaged due to water leaks from an ice dam. As water seeps through the uppermost layer of flooring into the subfloor, it causes the wood to expand. This expansion pushes your flooring out of place, causing warping. Warped wood is a sign that water has been leaking for a significant amount of time and needs to be addressed quickly. Carpets also have tell-tale signs that a leak is present. Wet carpets are noticeably darker and will be damp to the touch. If moist for a significant amount of time, the carpet’s fibers are the ideal location for mildew and mold to grow. As the mildew forms, you will notice some of the damp and musty smell discussed earlier.
In some cases, you may be able to see water leaking into your home from outside. This happens if your roof, siding, or weather-resistant barrier is damaged. After big snow storms, it is important to check the most common places for leaks to occur. If there is damage, leaks are generally visible around windows and doors. If you have heavy curtains or blinds on your windows, opening them after a winter storm is important. It’s easy to forget to check windows typically covered by curtains or blinds. Be sure to check them all because it’s better to be safe than sorry. Water leaks from an ice dam tend to melt slowly but steadily, meaning you might not notice a leak for several days. Stay vigilant to make sure no leaks go unnoticed.
What To Do If You Have Water Leaks From An Ice Dam
If you notice a water leak after a winter storm and ice is melting, there are a few steps you need to take. Dealing with discovered leaks as soon as possible is essential to prevent future–costly damage. Here’s what you can do to ensure your home suffers the least amount of damage possible.
Call A Professional Water Intrusion Contractor
The first thing you need to do is contact a contractor. The only way to properly repair a leak and the damage a water leak from an ice dam causes is to call a professional. A skilled Siding Contractor who knows how to work around siding and can remediate dry rot is generally able to fix water leaks from an ice dam quickly and correctly. While there are areas of your home that you can DIY when it comes to the roof and structural components, you want a professional. Good Contractors who specialize in water intrusion can be booked out for a few weeks–especially after big storms, so here are some things to do until they get there.
Locate The Source Of The Water Leak
One of the most critical steps in dealing with water leaks from an ice dam is to locate the source of the leak. This may be easier said than done, especially if the leak comes from a hidden area of your home. Remember to stay safe and only check areas you are comfortable with. Sometimes leaks come from the roof, making them difficult to locate. If you are lucky enough to discover the source of the leak, mark it so you can easily find it again. Don’t worry if you can’t find the source of the leak! A qualified contractor will be able to locate the leak for you.
Dry Out The Area
Drying out the area as best as possible is a good idea. If your leak is coming from your windows, you can put a towel on the window sill to soak up the water. Don’t forget to change the towel periodically, or else you might end up with a more significant issue on your hands. If your leak is coming from the ceiling, you can place a bucket or pot under it to collect water and protect your floors. Carpets need a little bit more than just towels. For extra help, you can add a heater or dehumidifier to the room to dry it the old-fashioned way.
Contact SFW Construction
In conclusion, if you notice any signs of water intrusion or leaks after snow and ice begin to melt, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Calling a professional window leak contractor immediately after leaks or damages are discovered is crucial to repairing the damage. SFW Construction is the Pacific Northwest’s best leak repair contractor. We have been repairing leaks for over 20 years, giving us the necessary experience and skills to fix your leak. We repair your home the right way, stopping future damage. If you notice signs of a leak as the snow and ice begin to melt, contact us immediately for a free consultation.