What Does Ice on Your Roof Have to do with Mold in Your House?
Updated: May 18
Ice dams can wreak havoc on your home in a variety of different ways. They can compromise your roof and cause leaks that flow into your home. These leaks can flood your personal property and also lead to the growth of toxic mold. Below we will explore a few specific ways that ice dams can cause problems for your roof, your home, and your personal property. We’ll then discuss toxic mold and how to prevent it altogether.
Interior Ceiling Damage:
Ice dams can create situations where water begins to drip and run through shingles. It can also cause roof flashing to dislodge. Roof flashing is the thin metal that is installed to direct water away from specific areas of your home, so it’s important that it stays in place so that water doesn’t get into your chimney or walls. When ice dams start creating situations where the water gets into places it’s not supposed to be, then interior ceiling damage can occur. You may see this when your ceilings start to yellow in color, or sometimes you’ll even be able to see the mold and mildew. Even worse is when the tiles on your ceiling start to break and fall down to the floor of your home.
Damage to the structure of your home:
The true structural elements of your home can be impacted too. The structural elements can weaken when ice dams are not prevented and accounted for. When the structural elements of your home, such as the decking on your roof, the wood rafters, studs in the walls, and floor beams in the attic begin to mold or rot because of water, you can have even costlier issues at hand.
Damage to Insulation:
Most of the time when insulation is damaged from roof leaks it occurs in the attic of a home, but water can also impact and damage the insulation in your walls and ceilings. This happens due to an effect called the “trickle-down effect.” When insulation gets wet it can become moldy and sometimes become covered in black mold. Often this leads to insulation needing to be replaced.
Personal Loss of Property:
When insulation starts to become damaged, or the structure of your home becomes weakened, or the ceiling tiles start to fall, then you can also be looking at the potential loss of your personal property. Think of the electronics in your home, but also the artwork you value, or special heirlooms or even items you’ve bought while traveling abroad. Some may be replaceable, but many are likely not. There’s always a cost to losing anything, especially unexpectedly, whether it’s simply an expensive item to replace or an irreplaceable item of sentimental value.
Let’s Talk about Mold:
All of this can lead to mold, and at times, toxic mold. Mold grows best in conditions where there is plenty of moisture present and when the temperature ranges from 5 degrees to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Mold loves to grow on items such as wood, wallpaper, tiles, drywall and even in carpet. Like most things, mold will grow as long as it has food. Mold is a living organism. This means that your home, your wood, wallpaper, tiles, drywall, and carpet are its food to eat. When the mold eats these things, it can and eventually will destroy the structural integrity of your home. Leaving ice dams and allowing them to form and cause havoc on your home is essentially helping to create the perfect conditions for mold to grow. In addition to all the property damage, mold is bad for human health. Molds generate irritants and allergic reactions. These allergic reactions can range from the symptoms you’d have with a bad cold or fever to shortness of breath to systemic i. In a time of COVID and for people with weakened immune systems, this can be an even more serious health threat and potentially life-threatening.
What’s the Solution?
The obvious solution is to prevent the damage to your home from occurring in the first place. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but a key place to start is to protect your roof from the snow and ice dams that can occur in the winter season. You can do that by purchasing our heat trace cable system supplies, including self-regulating heat tape and heat trace cable controllers. Our durable products will last you many years, protecting your home from ice dams, roof damage, and mold, including toxic mold. Set your home up for success this winter season and for many winter seasons to come by taking preventative measures.