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Living in Manhattan and surrounding Kansas areas, 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 black 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 steam or vapor out of the home. Another major reason excess heat may build up in the attic is a direct result of builder’s negligence. The builder may have designed the home to send steam or 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 one of our Lamunyon Dry Out & Foundation Repair professionals. We have years of experience bracing Mahattan, Topeka, Salina, McPherson, Great Bend, Clay Center, Junction City, and surrounding Kansas area attics for winter. If you think you may have a mold issue or a moisture issue that could lead to mold growth. Give us a call or email us at [email protected]. We are here to help you.