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Technical Papers

Ice Dams and Basement Wetness

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 by Aaron Stull

Ice Dams and Basement Wetness - Image 1Ice dams are a common problem during the winter months, particularly in areas that experience heavy snowfall. Western Pennsylvania commonly sees this as a winter issue. These large chunks of ice form in the gutters of a house and can cause a number of issues, including basement wetness.

The main cause of ice dams is the buildup of snow on the roof of a house. As the snow melts, the water runs down the roof and into the gutters. If the temperature outside is cold enough, the water will freeze before it can drain properly, forming an ice dam.

As the ice dam continues to grow, it can block the flow of water in the gutters, causing the water to back up and flow into the house. Additionally, as water cascades over the gutter box, it can saturate the ground around a home. If the home has poor or fatigued drainage, this can lead to water damage in the basement, as well as mold and mildew growth.

There are several ways to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. One of the most effective methods is to insulate the attic to keep the a good portion of the heat in the house from escaping. This will help to prevent the snow on the roof from melting and refreezing in the gutters.

Another way to prevent ice dams is to install a heating cable in the gutters. This cable will help to keep the water flowing and prevent it from freezing. It is also important to keep the gutters clean, as debris can collect and block the flow of water.

If you are experiencing basement wetness due to ice dams, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. This can be done by hiring a professional to remove the ice dams and repair any damage that has been caused.

If you have developed a subsequent basement leak give Keystone Basement Systems a call to provide a free inspection. Keystone is the area expert in addressing foundation and basement issues and can provide a solution that will work for your specific situation. Contact them today to schedule an inspection and protect your home from further damage caused by ice dams.

About the author
Aaron Stull is a second generation foundation repair specialist from the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

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