Integrity Roofers Ltd.

Integrity Roofers Ltd.

March 08, 2015 11:06 ET

Ice be dammed: Spring thaw causes expensive water damage for homeowners

Prevention is key to saving money and protecting your home and business

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 8, 2015) -

Editors Note: There are six images associated with this press release.

Attention GTA, News, Weather, Business and Home Reporters

Greater Toronto Area (GTA) homeowners better be careful what they wish for. While Canadians are anxious to emerge from their self-induced hibernation for warmer Spring temperatures, thousands of homeowners will be facing floods and property damage as a result of a phenomenon known as ice dams, starting as early as today.

With warming temperatures this week, homeowners should look for the telltale warning signs of ice dams, such as sheets of ice along shingles and icicles along the edge of eavestroughs, and check the attic for frost accumulation. Before this ice melts, homeowners are urged to call a trusted, experienced and certified roofing professional with the proper safety equipment visit their homes. Homeowners that take the unnecessary safety risk of trying to remove ice dams themselves end up causing far more damage to the shingles and eavestroughs and can only remove the superficial ice.

Ice dams are partly the result of heat that escapes from inside a home into the attic, which then warms the roof during the winter months. When combined with the sun and fluctuating temperatures, this causes the snow on the roof to partially melt and then accumulate at the edge of the roof or overhang, once eavestroughs are full, the ice begins to expand under the shingles, causing them to separate.

According to GTA roofing expert Shay Barat, owner of Integrity Roofers Ltd., "This freezing, thawing and refreezing process is what contributes to ice dams that we are seeing across the GTA right now, which leads to water infiltrating homes. I have seen first-hand the damage ice dams cause. The melting water enters into homes, destroying insulation, damaging the attic, electrical work, seeping into drywall and causing dangerous mold spores. The good news is that it is almost entirely preventable." While Barat takes the time to educate his clients, some don't take the risks seriously until it is too late, causing them thousands of dollars in property damage, removal and restoration costs.

Integrity offers five tips for homeowners to prevent ice dams:

  1. Have a roofing inspection to ensure your attic is well ventilated. If the attic is cold, there will be less melting and refreezing on the roof.
  2. Ensure your attic is properly insulated in addition to the attic floor to minimize heat from rising from the house and causing snow to melt, which will reduce the risk of dangerous mold.
  3. Install an ice and water shield membrane under your roof covering at least six feet from the eavestroughs line.
  4. Clean out eavestroughs regularly to remove leaves so melting snow and ice can flow.
  5. Look in your attic for signs of frost, ice and ice around the head of nails on the plywood roof sheeting.

Barat adds, "My team and I have been incredibly busy all winter removing ice dams from roofs across Toronto because we know once that starts to melt, it can cause damage that will cost ten times as much as doing the preventative work. Even homes that have brand new shingles installed can face ice dams if they do not have a properly insulated attic." People often forget that their roof is not just about the shingles, it is an entire system that involves ventilation, insulation and the external materials that must all work together.

The insurance industry, still recovering from several major floods and the recent ice storm have reported that that approximately 40 per cent of all home insurance claims are the result of water damage, with the average cost of water claims raising 117 per cent from 2002 to 2012. It is crucial that home owners also know that many home insurance policies do not fully protect them from ice dam flooding, so prevention really is a smart investment.

About Integrity Roofers

Integrity Roofers Ltd. is a fully licensed, certified and insured roofing company serving residential and commercial property owners in Toronto and the GTA. Grounded in their ethics and principles as people and as a company, Integrity is committed to providing roofing services that are professionally executed and fairly priced. Integrity contractors are certified Quality Masters and Shingle Applicators that bring 20 years of roofing experience and have the required knowledge and expertise to provide quality roof installations, repairs and replacements. Integrity does not outsource their work and are striving to set a new standard for quality and reliability in the roofing industry.

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