Enjoy the Snow! Check the Attic!

  • Written by Craig Hawkins, EnviroShield

Woodinville resembles a winter wonderland on a beautiful snow-filled day.  Like many local families, we are taking advantage of the rarity to have fun.  Regrettably for some, soon the snow will melt and life will return to normal. That is the time to be on top of any snow related mold and water issues.

We asked Craig to help us understand the potential risks when a lot of snow accumulates within a short period, especially to our roofs:

Question: If I have a typical pitched roof, all of the melted snow water should easily flow to my drainage system, correct?

Craig: The majority of our service work after a snow storm has to do with what is called the stack effect; The system to constantly circulate heat/air from the main home to the attic and out an exhaust vent on top of the roof.  If the vents are blocked, moisture and dew can accumulate in the attic areas.

Question: What are some indicators that point to the potential of blocked vents?

Craig: In certain homes the moisture has accumulated in the attic, causing dripping water. An obvious sign is dripping water through upstairs can lights.

Question: Are their less-obvious signs of trouble?

Craig: It’s worth a trip to the attic to check for problems less easy to detect in the main house. We recommend that you open the attic access door to look for issues such as nails protruding from the roof, dripping water and otherwise wet nails.  Insulation can also be damaged by drips of water coming from the nails and or accumulating and dripping from the sheathing. Check for little holes and uneven changes in sheathing color.

Question: If I do discover a problem, how do I choose a water/mold damage company?

Craig: The first step is to call your insurance company and also a water damage company.

I would use this checklist:

1. Guarantee — Look for a company that provides a guarantee for mold remediation after the water dry out is complete.

2. Experience — Make sure that the water damage/mold remediation company that you choose has the training and the certifications that are necessary for the type of job they are doing for you.

3. Containment — A 1-inch by 1-inch area of mold creates millions of spores that are released into the air during the cleaning process, which can be very dangerous to the health of everyone in the home.

Only water damage companies that utilize what’s called a HEPA Negative Air System to direct the contaminated air should be the ones you use.

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