Ice on Drywall – How Harmful Is It?
As heavy rains and snow start hitting Santa Clarita, the risk for ice forming on and inside the property increases, along with the need for water damage restoration on drywall. While the exterior of your property may be able to withstand the cold, the same can not be said about the indoors.
Your drywall isn’t made to sustain ice forming on it – not for long, at least. The recent cold extremes that Santa Clarita and the entire world are facing have brought forth unusual issues that property owners never thought they would have to face: frost forming on the walls and ceilings inside the house.
While snow and ice forming on the outer walls or windows are not uncommon for the city, ice on drywall is still a rarity. In this article, we will take a look at the reason why ice may start forming on your drywall, the risk of water damage it presents, and what you can do to avoid it.
Why Ice Forms On Drywall & The Risk of Water Damage
Ice forms at 32°F (0°C), but that’s not the only factor to consider. Humidity also plays a very important role for ice to form. The more humidity there is in the air, the less likelihood frost there is. In the winter, the outdoors are relatively dry, while indoors, you can expect humidity to be anywhere between 30% to 50% (which is, unfortunately, just as much as mold needs to grow).
If ice is forming on the drywall, the primary factor to blame could be that the property’s insulation isn’t doing its job properly. Either the insulation is rotting, or an animal has eaten it. This means that your building’s enclosure is compromised.
In this case, you can expect water ingress when the ice eventually starts thawing. You may have to call water damage restoration experts to mitigate the further risk of damage.
Damaged enclosure or insulation will mean two things;
- There is ice forming on the outside. Because your insulation is not performing its job properly, the outside ice is starting to make its way indoors. There is no doubt that the drywall underneath the ice (or frost) is wet at this point.
- The dry air outside is also somehow making its way in and decreasing the overall humidity level of your property.
If the frost is on a corner, it is understood that the insulation is either missing or damaged.
How To Clean Ice From Drywall
If you start seeing ice forming on drywall, the best course of action for you would be to adjust the insulation in your attic. Go up and inspect it.
If you find that the insulation has been ripped apart, you may have a pest problem to deal with. You can either set traps for the pest (after studying patterns and understanding which animal or insect you are dealing with) or call animal control for help.
If, however, the insulation is missing altogether, understand that this was a disaster waiting to happen. Utah building code requires that insulation be installed in every building, even if the contract doesn’t explicitly say to do so.
Poor Insulation Installation
There is also a third option here; the insulation may not have a good enough contact with the frame of your house. It could either be because of an electrical wire, something else coming in the way, or the insulation not being installed correctly in the first place.
What To Do About Water Damage From Ice
If you find any damp spots here (which you most likely will), you should immediately seek help to dry it up. The longer you wait, the higher chances will be for mold to develop, and eventually, the harder the mold removal process will be.
If there is water damage, you will be able to feel the dampness and increased humidity levels the moment you enter the attic. It is important to note that if the house is new, you can also call the builder(s) and tell them about the problem. They won’t help you deal with the mold issue, that’s certain, but they may help you install the insulation properly.
Remember, getting the insulation properly installed is part of the building contract you signed – especially if your home is still under the builder’s warranty.
Until your builder comes, you should call our water damage resorption experts for help. We have specialized fans and thawing equipment specifically for ice-related issues. Our IICRC certified experts can also help you fix the insulation issue if needed.
911 Restoration of Santa Clarita has adapted to the changing climate that the city faces and is always ready to help you with your water damage restoration needs, mold removal, and more. If you ever find yourself stuck and need a residential or commercial restoration company, give us a call!