Recent Water Damage Posts

Fast Water Removal Will Save Your Vancouver Home

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

Vancouver residents know that the greater water threat to their homes is the outdated and rusted plumbing inside. If left untreated, the property can be just as damaged from a failing water heater as a severe storm.

It is common for a flood to start off the communities fall and winter season in the North West. With a town full of daylight basements, second-floor bathrooms prone to overflowing, and leaky roofs, we are here to help with it all.

At a home in Brush Prairie, a leaky roof caused damage, and puddling in the ceiling. The water dripped down into the other stories of the home, causing multi level damage. Our team went through, and did their best to exceed expectations for the family.  The home used drywall for the walls and ceilings, so team members replaced half the ceiling and one wall on the second floor. They used fans to dry out the wall frame before hanging the new panels. Other technicians performed the same work in the kitchen, removing half the ceiling and two panels on an interior wall.

At SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co, we carefully examine each home to determine which methods and tools can best help us return it to the owner in a dry condition, safe to live in again. If your home here, Ridge Field, Battle Ground, or as far as Fishers Landing needs our services, call us today at (360)254-0049

Have you Checked on your Toilet Lately?

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

The question we are sure that most of you were hoping to be asked today. But we are here to ask the tough questions. Many times, people do not think of their toilets as a possible liability. Unlike a fine wine, they do not get better as they age. Infact, parts of the plumbing within the fixture can deteriorate as time goes on. 

An unchecked toilet can go from, fine, to funky incredibly quickly. An easy example of this, is your toilet overflowing. This can happen from a reservoir issue, or something as simple as a clogged pipe. The tile, or laminate flooring within your bathroom will also be affected, and saturated. Protecting your floor from severe water damage is likely to be tricky if not acted upon almost immediately. 

Our SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co will arrive guns-ablazing with the best equipment for your severe damages, or smaller damages. We will also set up our advanced drying equipment to protect and preserve exposed cabinetry, fixtures, and flooring. In turn making your bathroom look like no toilet issues ever even happened.

Why Fast Water Extraction is Necessary for Vancouver Homes

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment inside home We had to remove drywall to extract water from this home's structure. Fortunately the damage was small and the home was restored in no time.

Managing Water Removal on Behalf of Vancouver Residents

Wet rooms can quickly cause problems to your upper floors and lower ceilings. The source of the problem could be a backed or blocked pipe or the deterioration of vital sealing materials. The outcome is nearly always the same, migrated water that takes passage either through electrical outlets like ceiling lights or onto the upper levels, weakening carpets and other areas. When you face this situation, you should first attempt to shut off the water outlet, as well as any electrics. Next, contact both your insurance adjuster and a professional restorer.

Even relatively small quantities of moisture may require professional water removal for your Vancouver home to return to normal.  Drying the surface texture alone can often lead to problems further down the line if the partition between your floor and ceiling holds onto moisture. Over time, the prolonged exposure to moisture can cause floorboards to warp, buckle, or cup. Equally, temperature changes can affect indoor humidity levels, and cause condensation on surfaces causing discoloration and yellowing.

SERVPRO technicians are trained to remove and restore parts of your home's water damaged structure safely. These activities may include temporarily removing floorboards or tiles to allow airflow into the cavity. We can speed up drying time by using heated air-circulation, as with an air mover, or by using non-heated circulation by placing box fans. During this procedure, we can also deploy dehumidification equipment to prevent overnight microbial growth issues.

Often structural contents, like hardwood floors, need to be treated separately by a SERVPRO technician. Woods holds a natural moisture content of around 12%, any more than that and the woods could expand, buckling under the pressure of their fittings. We monitor the moisture content using moisture meters and ensure the drying procedure does not reduce moisture content levels too low.  Moisture levels too low could result in further damages to your flooring. Once the property is dry, we can begin restoring floorboards by sanding them down and refinishing them to a like-new condition.

Do not let prolonged exposure to moisture ruin your upper floors. Contact SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. at (360) 695-4418.

More about Vancouver.

Contact SERVPRO For Your Water Damage Remediation Needs In Vancouver

6/15/2019 (Permalink)

A slow leak in a pipe in your home can cause this type of water damage. Contact SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.

Water Damage Remediation in Your Vancouver Kitchen

The cleanup of water damage incidents in your home should never be a DIY event when the scale of the damage could compromise other areas such as subflooring or in wall cavities. If inadequate cleanup or drying measure occurs, the excessive moisture has the potential for mold growth or foul odors.

SERVPRO technicians answered a call from a Vancouver homeowner with a water damage issue in her home. There was a slow leak for a while with a supply line connection, and it finally burst under her kitchen cabinets. She cleaned up what she could, had the leak repaired and then was advised by her adjuster to call us. We drilled weep holes in the wet sheetrock to assist for faster drainage and because of the elevated humidity levels in this area of Washington State, checked for signs of mold growth. Fortunately, we found none.

We then used our moisture detection equipment to track the migration pattern of the water in the kitchen. The homeowner did an excellent job removing the water she could see; however, our equipment showed excessive moisture levels remained under the cabinets where the leak occurred. SERVPRO technicians go through extensive training to become certified in different restoration science, among them Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) which gives them the expertise to diagnose and clean up damage from water loss events which results in more contents and building materials saved through restoration.

Because water remained under the cabinets for a few days, a strong odor remained in the room after the water extraction and drying. We needed to apply odor control techniques to neutralize the odor. 

The control of odors is often a multi-layered process that requires more than a single approach. Gels pellets cover pungent scents, but in the case of water odors, these sometimes need more robust applications. We have equipment such as hydroxyl generators that neutralize airborne particulate at the molecular level. We chose to use ultra-low-volume fogging to eradicate the remaining odor under the cabinet area.  

SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. stands ready to assist property owners with water damage 24/7. Call us at (360) 695-4418 for fast remediation against water loss to make it "Like it never even happened."

Click here to see more about Vancouver.

Is Your Business Prepared For Potential Water Damage?

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Contact you insurance company to know if you are covered.

Are You Adequately Protected For Potencial Water Damage?

Owning a business in Hazel Dell, WA, is a big responsibility. Safeguarding your building, equipment and inventory from water damage and other potentially costly perils may be a top priority. Although taking a proactive approach is often helpful, unforeseen situations can arise. For this reason, it’s important to possess business insurance and understand key provisions of your policy to ensure you are adequately protected.

1. Burst Pipes

Insulating exposed supply lines can prevent frozen and broken pipes during the winter. Most coverage does, however, usually include provisions to cover damage resulting from pipe bursts.

2. Water Leaks

Water leaks can also develop from aging infrastructure and equipment failures. Although it may be difficult to find compromised pipes hidden behind walls, performing routine maintenance on your building’s fire suppression and HVAC systems can help prevent some water damage. While every policy is different, most plans cover leaks and subsequent water cleanup requirements, offering some peace of mind.

3. Overflowing Toilets

While many companies encourage proper waste disposal, clogged and overflowing toilets are another common commercial problem. Because not all policies include sewage damage protection, you should carefully examine your plan. To avoid expensive out-of-pocket sewage cleanup costs, you may need to purchase supplemental coverage.

4. Storm Damage

A strong storm can damage your roof and break windows, allowing destructive water infiltration. Flooding can also occur. While storm damage may be covered, flooding is usually excluded from most business insurance plans. To protect your company’s financial security, you should discuss these topics with an insurance agent who can help you assess your risk and purchase flood insurance.

Water damage can result from a variety of scenarios, some of which may not be covered under many business insurance policies. Because water cleanup and restoration costs can be costly, inadequate coverage can result in significant financial losses. For this reason, it’s crucial for every business owner to analyze their situation and prepare for potentially destructive events.

A Non-Plumber's Guide to Assessing a Leaky Toilet

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking toilet in a Ridgefield, WA home

Assessing a Leaky Toilet 

Household repairs can be overwhelming for anyone, and leaks can be downright frightening if you’re not handy. It’s understandable if you don’t want to deal with a leaking toilet. However, if you’re noticing water on the floor every time you flush, it’s probably time for an assessment.

The good news is you don’t have to be an expert to make some initial determinations. Here are some easy steps that anyone in Ridgefield, WA, can use to evaluate a bathroom leak.

1. Observe the Leak

A good first step is to determine where the leak is coming from. You’ll want to study whether the seepage happens after flushing, if water is coming out from the floor, or if it’s a drip coming from a cracked bowl.

2. Make Sure the Tee Bolts Are Tight

You may not have known what they were called, but you’ve definitely seen tee bolts. Tee bolts are located on both sides of your toilet’s base and they’re covered with simple plastic caps, which can be easily removed. Use a standard wrench to gently tighten the bolts, but don’t over tighten as that can crack the pedestal and worsen your leaking toilet situation.

3. Replace the Wax Ring

If your toilet continues to leak after the tee bolts are tightened, you might need to replace the dry wax ring on the underside of the toilet. You will need to remove the toilet completely to do this, so if you’re not skilled in repairs you may want to call a professional.

4. Check the Tank Flange

The tank flange is simply a connector that attaches the water pipe to the toilet tank, and these can break. If you’ve determined you have a leak, tightened the tee bolts, and replaced the wax ring and still have a leak, you may need a new tank flange.

If you still have a leaking toilet after conducting these easy assessments, it’s possible that your toilet wasn’t installed properly, and you should contact a professional to re-install your toilet as soon as possible. However, you don’t need to be an expert to determine what kind of bathroom leak you have.

What Do You Need To File a Water Damage Claim?

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water loss in a bathroom in Hazel Dell, WA

Documentation is required to file a homeowners insurance claim for water damage. A policyholder should provide photos, videos, maintenance records, and proof of purchase to an insurer as evidence of damage caused by a pipe burst or any type of leak. Learn more about what information a homeowner should gather as he or she prepares to file a claim for water damage.

Proof of Damage

Insurers will want to see proof of the full extent of the damage. There are several types of useful documentation:

  • Photographs
  • Video
  • Footage dated prior to an incident

These records indicate that damage was caused by the incident that led a homeowner to file an insurance claim. It is important to document damage before taking any steps toward mitigation. Homeowners may also benefit from being able to produce maintenance records indicating that the incident was not due to negligence. Even if an insurer does not cover the cause of damage, coverage should be available for the effects.

Proof of Purchase

It can also be helpful to gather receipts or other proof of purchase for damaged contents. Check your policy to ensure that the replacement cost of items is covered rather than the actual cash value. Given depreciation, the latter may not be sufficient to replace items with severe damage.

A Restoration Estimate

Insurers prefer to work with an established water damage mitigation and restoration company. Obtain an estimate for the cleanup and restoration processes by contacting a company that provides both services. This calculation may be more accurate and complete than estimates from more than one business.

All of this information can help a homeowner filing an insurance claim for water damage. Be aware that homeowners insurance does not cover any damage caused by flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary for damage resulting from heavy rains or rising bodies of water in Hazel Dell, WA.

No, Your Leaky Toilet Is Not Normal

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Air mover on a water loss in a Vancouver,WA bathroom

To get the most out of your Vancouver, WA, home, you need a functional, attractive and comfortable bathroom. Few things can ruin its condition faster than a leaking toilet. If your commode leaks every time you flush, you may have a bigger problem than you think.

Water Leaks Cause Significant Damage

A bathroom leak is not something you can take lightly. In fact, even a small leak can cause serious damage. If you have a leaky toilet, you may find damage to the following:

  • Toilet
  • Tile
  • Carpeting
  • Subfloor
  • Baseboard

Toilet Leaks Are Common

Leaky toilets are a common occurrence. Generally, assigning blame for a leaking toilet is not difficult. In many cases, a dry wax ring is the culprit. To seal properly, rings must remain moist and pliable. As the ring ages, cracks and brittleness can encourage a leak to form. On the other hand, improper installation may be the reason your toilet leaks. Either way, you should not ignore the problem.

Leaks Often Require Remediation

When you have a leak in your bathroom, you must take certain steps to deal with it. While repairing the toilet may stop the leak, it is still possible that you have serious secondary damage. Specifically, you may need to remove and replace damaged fixtures, flooring and other items. You may also need to address mold and mildew growth. Since containing mold requires specific equipment, knowledge and skill, it’s often a good idea to leave the job to a reputable mold remediation service.

If your commode leaks when flushing, you may think a leaking toilet is normal. It isn’t. Your toilet should not spill water onto the floor, but a leak can also cause significant damage. By understanding the typical causes of toilet leaks and knowing how to prevent them, you can keep your bathroom in tip-top shape.

Prevent Water Damage by Caring for Key Home Systems

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Home water leak in Grove,WA

When you get water in home building materials, the damage is unavoidable and costly. Most materials swell or breakdown, and mold can become a secondary problem if water is not dried thoroughly. While water damage is a common problem that many homeowners experience, most of it is preventable. Here are some key systems, in and out of your home, to check right now to reduce your chance of water damage:

Pipes and Plumbing.

Inspect pipes, hoses and connections in your search for drips and leaks since even the tiniest of these can develop into a significant pipe cleanup job. Sometimes you may not see leaking water, so you need to look for clues: rust, mold, stains, and damaged materials that peel or buckle.

Roof and Water Drainage

Check inside your attic and look for stains in the ceiling for signs of rain water in the home already. Check outside, during or after rain, to make sure gutters and downspouts flow freely. If you see areas that pool around your foundation, consider lengthening the end of your downspouts, adding French drains or grading the land away from your house.

Basement Pump System

Whether you have a storm or a broken pipe, the first line of defense in the basement is the sump pump. Clear debris from the pump so that it is ready for action. Periodically check your sump pump, by adding a little water to the sump pit, to make sure it works.

Septic Tank

You may think your tank doesn’t need pumped because you never have problems, but all that wonderful microbial digestion happening inside your tank still results in a byproduct of sludge that takes up valuable capacity and must be removed with periodic pumping. Check with your local extension in Grove, WA, for recommendations on septic pumping based on the size of your home and number of occupants.

Make flood water in the home an unlikely problem by routinely inspecting key home systems, and by doing maintenance routinely. You know you can count on professionals, day or night, to minimize damage by removing water fast.

3 Types of Contaminated Water

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water loss on a bathroom in a Felida, WA home

Water damages are a frustrating and time-consuming problem. When you take into account the risks associated with contaminated water and the possibility of secondary water damage, the entire situation can be very overwhelming. It's important that you identify the type of water you're dealing with before you decide to handle any repairs on your own. Sewer backups, for example, contain black water and should only be addressed by a Felida, WA, professional.

1. Clean Water

Category 1 water is safe to handle. During a flooding situation, clean water may come from a leaky faucet or a break somewhere in the supply line. Unfortunately, if the situation isn't resolved, clean water can become contaminated and turn into category 2 or 3 water. Work quickly to thoroughly clean up and dry out your home when it is affected by clean water.

2. Gray Water

This contaminated water may cause trouble, but isn't as hazardous as black water, unless left untreated. It may carry viruses, bacteria, or urine, but it doesn't contain any feces. Overflowing toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines are some sources of gray water. Depending on what's in the water, it may be safe for you to handle this type of flooding on your own. If you aren't sure, contact a water damage specialist.

3. Black Water

The most serious of the three categories of contaminated water is black water. This type of contamination often contains untreated sewage, bacteria and viruses, chemicals, and microbial growth. Any contact with this type of water could lead to severe, lasting damages. Any water entering your home from the sewer system or from outside your home should be treated as black water.

Water damage is assessed to ensure the well-being of your family and home. Work closely with professionals who have the right training and equipment to deal with a flooding situation. You'll have lasting peace of mind, knowing that flooding has been dealt with appropriately.

Inspect and Respect Your Bathroom Supply Lines

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Warranties are there to cover any water supply line leak.

A leak in any plumbing connections to your bathroom in Vancouver, WA, is worrisome. Supply line damage is often a source of flooding and costly repairs if untreated. To be proactive, it is beneficial for homeowners to know what to check and when to replace a supply line.

Know the Different Types of Warranties

Knowing what type of supply line is in your bathroom allows you to understand what warranty is offered if you find any damage. Most pipes have typical warranties depending on their material and the specific manufacturer:

• Plastic: five to eight years
• Copper: fifty years
• Steel braided: lifetime

Check the Valve Nut of the Supply Line

It’s important to identify exactly where the water is coming from. In the case of a toilet or sink leak, there are a few locations of where potential failure can happen. This involves checking if the connections are snug.

The nut holding the supply line to the valve may be loose and need tightening. If you find the nut is broken, it was probably overtightened and now needs replacement. If the bathroom leak doesn’t stop after tightening, you probably have supply line damage that requires a new line.

Evaluate the Water Line Valve Connection

After checking the smaller nut, there is a larger one to also tighten and check. While working on this one, water must be turned off to the bathroom to prevent flooding.

If the connection is threaded, the supply line needs to be removed before working on it. Using pliers and a wrench, the valve should be secured as gently as possible. The water should be turned back on and checked for leaks. If the leaking stops, reattach the supply line if it was removed.

Seek Help If the Leaking Won’t Stop

Warranties are there to cover any water supply line leak. It’s advised to check with the manufacturer of the connector for warranty details and reach out to your insurance for repairs or replacement. Damage caused by supply line damage, while unfortunate, can be offset by industry-standard procedures used by an expert bathroom water damage cleanup crew. Regardless of how far the water gets, it can be remedied. For more information, visit

Hidden Water In Vancouver

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Here to Help.

It's the water that you don't see after a leak that causes the most problems. 

It could contain bacteria, mold and other unseen damage. Before you risk further damaging the value of your facility or home by attempting to independently clean up the mess, call the SERVPRO professionals to ensure all aspects of your water damage are addressed properly. ensuring that further damage is not caused from hesitating to take action. SERVPRO professionals are trained to clean and restore your facility or home by identifying the water source, measuring the temperature and humidity for drying analysis, surveying the extent of the damage, performing emergency extractions, applying necessary treatments, utilize drying equipment and monitor drying, and disposing of all refuse.. We work closely with most all insurance carriers making the process run smoothly. "Like it never even happened." 

Please call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/Clark Co. as soon as possible 24 hours a day 7 days a week service and response.

Wiki Water Damage Information

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Extraction

Did you know that drywall exposed to standing water can wick up the wall at a rate of one inch per hour for the first 24 hours? 

If untouched for a few days it will eventually make it all the way up to the seam at the four foot mark of the wall. This has the potential to create serious problems.  Extracting standing water immediately stops the wicking and can reduce your drying time by more than a day.

It is 1,200 times easier to physically remove water than it is to evaporate it! This is why thorough professional extraction is the best approach and can reduce drying time and reduce further mitigation damages.  Why take the risk? 

Let the professional access the situation and begin the process. We work closely with most Insurance Carriers for your protection.

Call a SERVPRO franchise professional and let us make it..."Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of W. Vancouver/ Clark Co. @ 360-254-0049

Water Damage Prevention

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

We can help! Call SERVPRO of W. Vancouver & Clark Co. today! (360) 254-0049

Burst Pipes in the water system is one of the most common plumbing problems both in the home and the public system. Several things can cause Burst Pipes, the main one been freezing conditions.

The pipe can be put under a great pressure through the system and any fault in the piping will be exposed over time and broken down. The effects of burst pipes can be dramatic and devastating all at the same time. A burst pipe on the main system can cause damage to property, put people out of homes and even close an entire area of a town and roads for a number of days. This can leave people without water and even homes for days.

We have integrated such complicated plumbing systems in our homes such as waste disposals, boilers and even garden features. Burst pipes within the home is simply the worst thing that can happen to your plumbing system. It is not the cost of the repair of the pipe or even the loss of the water whilst it is fixed, but the sheer amount and cost of the damage water can do.

If a pipe bursts in the ceiling or floor it can be some time before you notice and all too often the first you know is when the bulge appears or the water flows in a torrent.

The potential water loss from burst pipes in your house can be as much as 400 litres, that’s 2 full baths an hour. This means if you were away for a full day you could have up to 9,600 litres of water or 48 full baths of water in your house from burst pipes. If you were away for the week you could lose 47,200 litres of water in that week. The amount of litres lost is the equivalent to 336 full baths of water running through your house. 

If you do occur a water leak in your home or business call  SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co. immediately! (360) 254-0049

4 Top Checklist Items for Plumbing Maintenance Inspections

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Plumbing problems can happen in any building. Normal wear and tear, plumbing age and quality of a system’s construction materials all have an impact on plumbing performance. Being proactive in keeping a Vancouver, WA, commercial building’s plumbing system in good operating condition is a great way to protect your investment. It can also help you avoid a much more inconvenient and costly plumbing emergency in the future. Scheduling regular plumbing inspections may help identify small problems to be addressed before they become large. These four top checklist items for a plumbing maintenance inspection cover areas generally considered critical to proper operation of a plumbing system.

1. Fixtures

Quiet leaks and drips from fixtures such as toilets and faucets can waste thousands of gallons of water annually. Fixtures are typically tested during a maintenance inspection. Repairing these silent leaks may save a lot of money on future water bills.

2. Pipes

A visual inspection of pipes can be done to uncover evidence of leaks and signs of corrosion. When significant visible corrosion is noted, it may be a signal that the pipes are close to the end of their useful life. This can give you the opportunity to make a plan before the aging plumbing causes a bigger problem, such as a broken pipe.

3. Drains

A test of drains can uncover any blockages that need to be cleared. Slow draining sinks or toilets that require regular plunging may indicate a blockage. If allowed to persist, blockages can lead to backups and overflows with accompanying water damage.

4. Valves

Testing valves for proper operation may help prevent valve failure. Broken or faulty valves can add challenges to water main maintenance and repair. A simple check of a valve’s ability to open and close can be all that is needed to avert larger plumbing problems in the future.

While some plumbing problems may be unavoidable, it is generally much easier to make preventive plumbing corrections based on recommendations from a routine maintenance inspection than defer routine repairs.

For more information, please visit us at

2 Methods Professionals Use To Handle Your Wet Building Materials

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in your Vancouver, WA, home can lead to extensive issues with the building materials in your living space. Anything from swelling wood to deteriorating insulation can occur as a result of a supply line leak or a pipe burst within your walls or under the floorboards. Therefore, it’s important to not only seek professional help for water pipe repair but to ensure that your property’s structural work is safe and intact. Here’s how the professionals can handle your building materials if they’ve been compromised by water damage.

1. They replace the swollen wood from any affected areas.

Whether you’ve sustained water damage to your kitchen cabinets, your living room floor or elsewhere, trained technicians are likely to replace any wood that has swelled to prevent any structural issues in the future. If the leak was bad enough and the spread of damage carried on for some time, tearing apart your carpets or floorboards to reach and replace the subfloor could be a necessity. Thankfully, for situations that aren’t dire, any drywall or real wood materials can often simply be dried and saved, preventing you from receiving a larger bill down the road.

2. They remove any wet insulation in the walls.

While swelling wood is a problem in itself, having untreated wet insulation in the home can become an even bigger problem. Therefore, water damage professionals will often remove damp areas of insulation to determine any stud damage that may be hiding behind the wet material or to simply replace the insulation altogether to prevent disintegration or mold growth.

When water damage has occurred to your Vancouver, WA, home’s building materials and you need water pipe repair, it’s important to call upon the help of trained technicians. With their help, your residence can be cleared of any swelling wood or other hazardous materials or waste, and you can gain peace of mind knowing your home is safe again for you and your family.

For more information, visit us at

Water Damage Caused by Ice Dams

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

If you encounter water damage this winter pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Vancouver 24/7 365 days a year! (360) 695-4418

An Ice Dam is a hump of ice that forms at the edge of a roof under certain wintertime conditions. An ice dam can damage both your roof and the inside of your home. It will put gutters and downspouts at risk too.

There are several things you can do to avoid getting an ice dam or to reduce the risk of damage after one has formed, but there’s really only one cure: a combination of better sealing, insulation, and venting in the attic and eaves.


An ice dam forms when the roof over the attic gets warm enough to melt the underside of the layer of snow on the roof. The water trickles down between the layer of snow and the shingles until it reaches the eave of the roof, which stays cold because it extends beyond the side of the house. There, the water freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

The flatter the pitch of the roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to get a grip. Gutters at the eaves can also trap snow and ice. If snow and ice build up high enough in the gutter, it can provide a foundation for an ice dam.


When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles. Eventually, it will drip into the insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eave, ruining sheetrock and paint. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off with it, and it will damage anything it falls on: shrubs, windowsills, cars, pets, and people. If the roof sheathing stays wet, it can form mildew and start to rot.


There are two avenues of attack: dealing with an existing ice dam and preventing one in the first place.


1. Remove the ice dam by breaking it free in small chucks. Do NOT use an ax or other sharp tool! You’ll cut through the shingles. Instead, tap lightly with a blunt mallet. This is slow, dangerous work, so hire someone experienced at roofing. Even if you do it safely, the chunks of ice can take pieces of shingle with them.

2. Clear out gutters and downspouts. Again, this is ladder work and an easy way to damage either plastic or metal gutters and spouts.

3. Melt troughs through the ice dam with calcium chloride ice melter. Do NOT use rock salt! It will damage paint, metals, and plants beneath the eave and wherever the salty water drains.

A good trough-maker is a tube of cloth (a leg from an old pair of panty hose works well). Fill it with calcium chloride, tie off the top, and lay it vertically across the ice dam. It will slowly melt its way down through the dam, clearing a path for the underlying water to flow free.


You can scrape snow from the roof whenever it falls, using a snow rake from below or a broom or plastic shovel from above. BE CAREFUL: The first method can bury you in snow, while the second can send you slipping off the roof. Hire someone who knows how to use a safety line.

You can replace your shingle roof with standing seam or other metal roof. Or you can replace the bottom three feet or so of your shingle roof with a wide metal drip edge. Whatever you do, install a water-repellent membrane under any new roofing.

NOTE: If your roof is not very steep, an ice dam can still form on metal roofing and drip edges.


All of these methods treat the symptoms, not the underlying problem, which is the warm roof, caused by poor insulation and venting of the space under the roof. We have found that the only way to cure an ice dam – and prevent one in the first place – is to:

1. Seal all points where warm air leaks from the living space into the spaces immediately below the roof sheathing.

2. Insulate the living space well enough to prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling.

3. Vent the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing, so any heat that does leak through is carried away.

Why Hire Your Local SERVPRO Professionals

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Please reach out to us with questions or concerns 24/7 365 days a year (360) 695-4418

Water damage can happen to your home or business when you least expect it. Sometimes it may be as a result of leakages that you have been ignoring, or it can be an aftermath of a fire or flooding. Therefore, it might find you when you are not prepared financially to hire external help. So the first thing that will come to your mind is how to fix the water damage on your own to save money. You can do a very good job at dealing with water damage in your home in some situations, but if the damage is too severe, you will need the input of well-trained SERVPRO professionals to fix it for you. Here are the reasons why hiring professionals to do the work is the most prudent thing to do;

Once on site, professionals can quickly determine what items have been severely ruined by water damage. They will begin by getting rid of any porous items that could have come into contact with water because they tend to absorb too much water which can act as breeding grounds for harmful microbes. These items include mattresses, particle board, box springs, and pillows.

SERVPRO professionals will also identify any pockets that are holding excess moisture and remove the water. They have special equipment that they can use to measure moisture in hidden areas such as beneath tiles and other materials that do not become wet easily. When they find the hidden pockets, they will expose them to air by taking out the tile or material above it. They will also clean all areas with moisture using methods such as pressure washing with strong detergents. They will also accelerate the process of drying to prevent mold growth or any harmful bacteria. If the SERVPRO professionals discover the presence of bacteria or mold in your house, they will use mechanical or chemical methods to eradicate it.

At SERVPRO of W. Vancouver / Clark Co., we have experienced professionals who can spot compromised areas in your house and do everything possible to restore it. They are IICRC certified through a recognized organization. 

Please reach out to us with questions or concerns 24/7 365 days a year (360) 695-4418