We don’t generally associate ice with the concept of “speed.” There’s a reason we use the term “glacial” to refer to things that move at a painfully slow pace. But when ice dams start to damage your home, they work quickly. And when you see telltale signs of ice-related problems inside you homes, you need to move quickly, too. By the time you notice the damage, water build-up from the ice has already infiltrated your ceilings and walls, soaking the insulation and the drywall. Here is a typical timeline.
Day 1: Initial Warning Signs
If you notice areas on your walls or ceilings that are colder or darker than surrounding surfaces or are wet to the touch, you’ve likely got water infiltration. Left untreated, your drywall will soon start swelling and your wallpaper adhesive may begin to fail. If you have wooden furniture in contact with the wet area, it may begin to crack and swell, too. This will occur fairly early after water infiltration and it’s a headache in its own right. If not treated promptly, however, your home maintenance issues are only just beginning.
Days 2 and 3: Health Risks and Damaged Furniture
After a mere few days of being wet, interior surfaces will show visible signs of mold. If those surfaces are metal, they may start to corrode. If they’re upholstered, the dyes may bleed and run together. It’s right around this time that family member with sensitive mold allergies will start to be affected.
Days 8 and Beyond: Major Damage
At this point, you can’t overlook the water damage. Ever-growing mold colonies are destroying wallpaper, wood, and drywall. The mold is also becoming a real health hazard for inhabitants, regardless of their sensitivity and allergies. The wet conditions are also still splitting and warping woodwork, likely raising the costs of your home insurance claim and lengthening your expected home repair timeline.