One of the biggest disasters that can impact your roof during the winter time is a snow cave-in. Not only does your roof suffer from the degraded supports and the loss of insulation, but your home is also exposed to thousands of dollars in water damage. While careful snow removal and preparatory roof inspections will help most homeowners avoid this crisis, thousands of families face it every year.
How do you fix water damage? How can you preserve your home after a disastrous cave-in? We’ll answer these questions and more today. Afterwards, you should have a reliable plan of action in case your home is ever affected. Let’s get started!
What Damage Can Water Cause?
Think about what happens when you spill a large jug of water on the carpet. If you clean up the moisture quickly and allow the area to dry, your carpet will be fine. If the water stays in the flooring and is never dried up, the flooring eventually starts to look dirty and moldy. It’s the long-term consequences that could end up ruining your floor.
The same goes for the attic when water starts to pour in through the roof. If homeowners can effectively dry out the attic and the underlying materials, most of the problems go away on their own. Should the water (from the melted snow) remain for days and weeks, you could be facing some serious consequences and costly water damage restoration.
Is Drywall Ruined if it Gets Wet?
Thoroughly soaked drywall almost always has to be replaced. If mold has started to grow, you’ll want to call a professional to do the removal. Should you attempt to perform the replacement yourself, there’s a high chance of spreading mold spores and contaminating other parts of your drywall.
On the other hand, lightly dampened drywall may be saved if you quickly dry it out. Start by towel drying the affected area, then setting up a fan to finish the job. Before you repaint, make sure there aren’t any warped or degraded areas that need to be replaced.
Will Insulation Mold if it Gets Wet?
That depends on two factors: the material and elapsed time. Foam products (spray and board) are generally sealed against moisture. Simply wipe off any areas that have been exposed with a dry towel. However, you’ll still want to dehumidify the affected areas to protect the wooden roof supports in the attic and the studs in the walls (if applicable).
Fiberglass and cellulose are a different story. Both will start to develop mold after a couple of days. If you can’t dry out the insulation before then, you’ll have to throw it out.
Home Restoration After Water Damage
Now that we’ve clearly shown the terrible damage that a snow cave-in can cause, we come to our next important question: How do you fix water damage? Your best course of action will hinge on the severity of the cave-in and the time elapsed since your roof started leaking. In general however, it’s crucial that you start by fixing the rooftop damage and eliminating the leak. Call a trusted roofing company and arrange your emergency roof repair. At the very least, you can remove the remaining snow and cover up the exposed area until proper repairs can be completed.
Next, you’ll want to talk with a restoration service about drying out your attic. Ask your roofer if they know a local flood restoration company they would recommend. They’ll likely want to start venting out the walls too. If you won’t have access to water damage cleanup service for several days, you’ll need to take action yourself.
Water Damage Restoration Tips
There are three types of water damage: black (most dangerous), grey, and clean (safest). While melted snow may be considered clean, it can be contaminated with bacteria and particles in your attic space. Make sure to wear gloves while you handle wet materials, especially if they’ve been moist for multiple days.
You need to act quickly to preserve your insulation and your drywall, especially if you have cellulose or fiberglass products. These need to be dried out as quickly as possible (within 2 days of the water damage). Place a fan and a dehumidifier in the attic to dry out the insulation there. You’ll need to gently remove the baseboard, then cut out enough drywall (from the floor up) to extract the insulation behind the wall.
Dangers of Ignoring Cleanup
Let’s say you have your roofing company come out to repair the roof supports, decking, and rooftop, but you leave the residual moisture be. What’s the worst that could happen?
First of all, you forfeit any drywall and insulation that is still moist after 2-3 days. That could be hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars in replacements. Second, you practically guarantee the expansion of mold growth in your attic and anywhere else moisture sits (especially behind the walls). That could mean tearing out additional parts of your walls and ceiling so that a restoration company can perform mold removal, which also costs thousands of dollars. In summary, no water damage cleanup could leave you with:
- Ruined ceiling
- Mold infested walls and attic space
- Potentially rotted studs
- Weakened roof supports
- Physical side effects of inhaling mold spores
- Thousands of dollars in repair costs
- Thousands of dollars in restoration costs
- Hundreds of dollars in hotel costs
While there may be some consequences that we haven’t listed here, you probably get the idea. Timely water damage restoration is crucial!
Get Your Estimate on Roof Repairs!
As we mentioned earlier, the process of water damage restoration should always start with fixing the roof. You can come to the trusted team at Beartooth Exteriors, Inc for your emergency roof repair service! We’ll work hard to mend your roof and safeguard your home from further damage. Give us a call today at (307) 224-4912 to learn more.