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Winter Weather Brings Ice Dams, Water Damage and Potential Mold Growth

EMSL Analytical offers air and surface testing services to detect the presence of mold and carries a line of inspection tools to help identify water damage.

Minneapolis, MN – WEBWIRE

With more than a month to go before the official start of spring, many parts of the United States and Canada are still gripped with freezing temperatures and regular snowfall. As these regions begin to experience some daytime thawing temperatures, property owners are advised to be on the lookout for ice dams.

The following description of how ice dams form is provided by the U.S. Government’s Energy Star Program: Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. The ice dam can cause damage to the roof, which will result in water leaks to the inside.

“An important way to help prevent the formation of ice dams is to control heat loss from a building into the attic,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To keep warm and moist air from entering the attic space via the interior of the building, seal any air leakage pathways and be sure the attic is properly insulated. Also, vented appliances should be exhausted to outside of the building and not into the attic.”

Ice dams that do result in water damage to a home or building often leave behind more than just water stains on ceilings and walls, this moisture can also result in mold growth. Even if the mold is in an attic, ceiling or wall cavity, it could create indoor air quality (IAQ) issues for building occupants. If enough damage has taken place that walls or ceilings need to be repaired, property owners should also be aware of other potential hazards such as lead-based paints and vermiculite insulation that often contains asbestos. These materials should be tested before they are disturbed so the necessary safety precautions can be put in place to protect people from exposure hazards.

Those facing damage due to an ice dam or other type of water incursion can turn to the indoor environmental experts at EMSL Analytical, Inc. EMSL offers mold, lead and asbestos testing solutions, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits and a wide array of building inspection tools to identify water damage. The laboratory specialists have also sponsored an educational video about ice dams, water damage and mold that can be seen at:

To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental and occupational testing services, or for access to building inspection tools, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email . To access indoor environmental quality test kits, visit

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 winter weather
 ice dams
 water damage
 indoor air quality

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