Ice Dam Water Damage Repair Chicago IL

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Has ice dam water leaked into your Chicago home? We can help.

With the frigid temperatures of a Chicago winter comes a major risk for Chicagoland homes and businesses: ice dams.

Created by melting snow that becomes trapped on the roof eave, ice dams can cause water to back up into your home or business. The result can be costly damage to your walls, ceiling, drywall, and more.

Are you wondering who to call for ice dam water damage repair?

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, we’re a local restoration contractor that handles everything from damp drywall and wet floors to soggy personal belongings. While you can’t stop Chicago’s freezing weather, you can count on Chicago’s best when you need help with ice dams and other winter disasters.

Give us a call right now for immediate help in Chicago, IL, and the suburbs.

How to Tell if You Have Roof Ice Damage From Ice Dams

Not sure you have ice dams on your roof? Look for these warning signs:

sign of water damage

Peeling or blistering paint

Peeling paint is a symptom of moisture damage. When water affects a building’s drywall, the moisture will eventually make its way out through ceilings or walls. This compromises paint and causes it to lift away from its surface. The result is unsightly peeling or blistering.

Sagging drywall

Drywall doesn’t hold up well to moisture. In cases of severe ice dams, drywall will become saturated and unable to hold its own weight. Eventually, it will sag or even fall away from the wall or ceiling entirely.

Water stains

Water stains are a good indicator that your building is suffering from ice dams. Look for these stains around windows, doors, or on the walls.

Don’t let water damage sit. Get help now.

How Do We Clean Up Water Damage From Ice Dams?

From a leaking roof to leaking windows, ice dams spread water damage throughout your home. We take a whole-house approach to tackling ice dam water leaks.

We start by determining the points of water entry from the roof into your home. Our technicians use infrared thermal imaging equipment to track the extent of visible damage and pinpoint hidden moisture.

Once we’ve assessed the scope of damage throughout the house, we get to work cleaning, drying and restoring your home from floor to ceiling.

We use advanced equipment and technologies to clean, dry and restore all affected areas. You can depend on us to:

• Address water damage in the attic including wet insulation. 
• Repair ceiling leaks and replace damaged materials. 
• Clean, disinfect and deodorize all affected surfaces. 
• Tear out and replace badly damaged drywall. 
• Set up heavy-duty axial fans, dehumidifiers and air scrubbers. 
• Finish up with certified mold remediation as needed. 
• Take care of all water-damaged personal belongings. 

The ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba Difference:

  • 85 years of combined restoration experience
  • Guaranteed response time of under 90 minutes
  • We manage your insurance claims
  • Licensed, bonded, insured, IICRC certified
  • 24/7 emergency availability
  • We answer your call the first time

What Causes Ice Dams on Chicago Buildings?

Ice dams form when a building’s roof is too warm to keep the snow on top of it frozen. Here’s how it works:

  • Heat rises through your building into the attic. Generally, this happens in older buildings with insufficient attic insulation.
  • All that heat that builds up in the attic escapes through the roof, melting the snow directly above it.
  • The snow becomes water and flows down the roof until it meets the roof eave.
  • The roof eave sits away from the building and is not heated by the attic, which means it’s usually below-freezing.
  • The water meets this frigid portion of the roof and freezes, creating an ice dam.
  • As water continues to melt from snow on the higher portions of the roof, it flows down and becomes trapped behind the dam.
  • With nowhere to go, this water forces its way under the shingles of the roof and eventually flows into the building.

ice dam chicago house

How do Ice Dams Damage Chicago Homes and Businesses?

While ice dams may seem like tiny things, they can cause extensive damage. When ice dams form, they block water runoff, causing the water to back up and find its way under the building’s roofing material. Eventually, all that trapped water has no choice but to drain down door jambs or around windows, into drywall, and into wall cavities.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (IIS), the average claim by homeowners for water damage and freezing is about $3,000. Even worse, these claims seem to be getting more common. IIS reports that water damage and freezing claims increased from 14.6% of all claims in 2005 to 23.7% of all claims by 2009.

With that in mind, here are a few ways ice dams can wreak havoc on your building:

  • Loose or missing shingles.
  • Gutters that are broken or displaced.
  • Wet insulation, ceilings, paint, and walls.
  • Formation of mold and mildew.

If left untreated, ice dams can damage your building’s roof, compromising building materials and even causing the roof to collapse or sag. Don’t wait to seek help for your ice dam problem. Contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for professional ice damage repair.

3 Proven Tips to Prevent Ice Dams in Chicago

When it comes to ice dams, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep ice dams from affecting your roof with these tips:

1. Add more insulation

If your building is older, insulating the attic is the easiest way to prevent ice dams in the long-term. Modern spray insulation fills every gap and crack in your attic, locking warm air in and preventing heat loss through the roof.

Even if you don’t plan to re-insulate the entire attic, consider using caulk or foam sealant to fill gaps and cracks around windows, vents, access hatches, chimneys, and other fixtures in the attic. This will help prevent heat loss and reduce the likelihood of ice dams.

2. Vent the attic

Attics with proper ventilation draw in cool air from outside and expel warm air. This process keeps the attic cool and helps your roof stay below freezing all winter long, thereby making it impossible for ice dams to form.

3. Add heated cables

For a quick and easy fix to ice dams, pick up some heated cables at your local hardware store. These cables use clips to attach to the edge of your roof, where they emit heat that prevents moisture from freezing and causing an ice dam.

Can you remove ice dams from my house?

Depending on the location and roof height, we can help. However, a roof with a steep pitch makes the work dangerous. We strongly recommend following the advice of most roofers: Let the dams melt on their own.

Does homeowners insurance cover ice damage? 

Most policies cover water damage resulting from ice dams. Our cleaning and restoration services are also covered by homeowners insurance. In fact, we can assist you with filing your claim. Keep in mind that very few policies cover removing ice dams from the roof.

What are the typical costs for repairing this type of water damage? 

Repair costs vary from one job to the next. It all depends on the extent of damage and the repairs necessary to complete our restoration work. When we inspect your property, you receive a complementary damage assessment that details exactly what needs to be done.

How can I prevent ice dams from forming? 

Use a roof rake to pull down snow and keep it from accumulating along edges. Some homeowners hire an electrician to install heat cables while others use aluminum ice belts along the roofline. There are ice dam removal products available that can speed up the melting process, but prevention is always your smartest strategy.