The Story of Ice Dams: How My Basement Flooded
Once Upon A Time…
Way back in 2017….(or last week) I mentioned making home goals. Today’s post is sharing the EMERGENCY SITUATION that occurred at my home last week. A story how neglected routine home maintenance created a basement flooding ice dam.
See the above photo: This is an ice dam (look real closely). Small, and looks harmless…seems as if it will clear up in no time.
The dam that was seemingly small WAS BIG enough to let WATER get into my BASEMENT!
This ice dam was created because my gutters hadn’t been cleaned in some time. The debris was built up overtime from nearby trees. When the snow started to melt or rain fell the blocked gutters didn’t allow the water to run through. Over the Christmas week, the water that once was thawing froze, creating an ice dam.
Then came the massive thaw. Local flood warnings came with it. Temperatures warmed up and we had 24hrs of nothing but hard, heavy rainfall. As you can see from the previous photo, water was then running off my roof, gliding over the ice dam in my gutter, and onto the ground.
Now, this wouldn’t have been near the issue that it was if I didn’t have an egress window located right under the ice dam. Water ran along the side of my house, into the window pit down the inside of the wall and out into my basement bathroom.
THANK GOODNESS IT WAS JUST THE BATHROOM!!!
We (We meaning my husband who had to come home from work to fix this problem) got out our ladder and tried to chip away the ice dam-
1. It is NOT good for your gutters or roof
2. It wasn’t safe to do in the pouring rain 2 stories up
3. It didn’t work
While we were able to dig out some of the ice/slush dam, it wasn’t proving helpful. He would have been up there all day. He probably would have been sick and I was tired of stabilizing the ladder. We resorted to this:
Notice the intense rainfall! We rotated between the cooler and the yard debris wagon to catch the water falling off the roof to keep it away from the egress window. They filled quickly and needed to be dumped and swapped within an hour. A very temporary solution that wouldn’t work through the night.
Later that afternoon, my husband came up with this contraption. The water now can hit the roof, run off the ice dam, onto a propped-up tarp, and off into my yard.
Behold, my window is dry.
The plan is that when it warms up a bit, the ice dam should be gone. We will get up and properly clean out our gutters. That way the next batch of freezing temperatures won’t cause problems! Then, viola, we will be able get rid of the tarp contraption!
And the moral of the story is… ROUTINE MAINTENANCE SAVES!
What does it save? EVERYTHING: Time, money, frostbite, danger, anger, frustration. You name it routine home maintenance saves.
I am excited for 2018 because we are taking care of the exterior of our home. Throughout the year I am hoping to share with you our exterior makeover journey. (Obviously most importantly my roof! ) We are replacing our roof, replacing the facia, gutters, shutters and painting (Oh my!).