Woodstock, IL, January 2nd, 2012 -- Winter officially began only a few weeks ago, but many in the Chicago area still recall last year’s historic snow storm that almost brought the city to a halt. The blizzard brought over 20 inches to the O’Hare Airport and closed Chicago public schools for the first time in over a decade.
Many area residents wonder if 2012 could bring similar storms to an area that is no stranger to blizzards. In addition to the closures and inconvenience of winter storms, their aftermath can cause damage to residential and commercial properties due to ice dams.
Many people see a line of icicles hanging from a gutter as just another sign of the season. These could however be an indication of an ice dam. Ice dams occur on roofs when a ridge of ice forms at the edge. This prevents melting snow from draining off the structure’s roof. As the water backs up it can quickly begin leaking into attics, walls and ceiling.
“Ice dams during winter’s freeze and thaw cycles can be a huge problem,” reported Ed Chambers, President of EC2, a Chicago-based environmental and building sciences consulting firm. “When the sun or warm weather begins to melt the snow and ice, the resulting water on roofs has no place to go if the gutters are frozen solid or the roof’s normal drainage process is obstructed. The end result is often water seeping through roofs or flowing over a property’s siding and getting into cracks or simply leaching through the roofing material.”
Unfortunately any moisture entering a structure means water damage, staining and potential microbial growth. Mold thrives in warm moist environments and that is what many homeowners may find on, and in, their walls and ceilings. Often this occurs in wall and ceiling cavities that are out of sight where the moisture can lead to mold growth in as short as 24 hours. This mold growth can result in structural damage and potential health concerns for the building occupants.
To learn more about mold in indoor environments, EC2 has sponsored an online video that can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbKoonHwvHM
About EC2, Inc.
EC2 is a leading provider of environmental consulting and inspection services for clients across the United States. Based in the Chicago area, the company provides their services to clients ranging from local companies and institutions to international Fortune 500 Corporations.