Category Archives: Heat Loss

Freezing Cold Ice Dams Flooding Heat Loss

Ice Dams

Due to the extreme sub zero temperatures and the recent  Nor’easter” Double Bomb Cyclone” here in the Boston area and coastal region many homeowners have experienced flooding including power outages, loss of heat, bursting and frozen water lines. The septic water drain pipes are even freezing leaving homes and businesses to not have toilet facilities and running water.

Gear up for the ice dams next in the coming weeks! The temperatures will rise from sub-zero to up to 50 degrees or more in the Boston and coastal areas. The severe temperature swings will begin to cause ice dams creating damaging affects to your home or business.

People are discovering how cold there home or place of business has become because of the extreme cold swings. Oil fills ups in our area are seven to ten days behind so stay safe and check on your neighbors and pets.

The utilization of Thermal Infrared Camera helps to discover hidden areas of moisture or cold drafts due to temperature differential of the surfaces. It can even help with frozen pipes in the basement or crawlspace before they may burst.

Real Estate and Mold – Moisture Assessments

Mold growth and contamination has become a popular yet hidden subject when it comes to buying and selling a home. What has caused a mold assessment to become more frequent in the past 10 years? Several areas to consider for concern include:

1. The foreclosure crisis in 2008 and 2015 historic ice dams in Massachusetts.
Homes and building were left unattended with nobody overseeing the property when it was vacant. The banks lost enough so why spend more money! Contractors and investors bought many houses with excess mold contamination due to floods, pipes bursting and leaking roof leaks etc. causing mold to grow. Although house were renovated the crucial question was whether the house or affected room were professionally cleaned and treated by a certified trained mold remediation company? The renovations look good but the musty odors are awful.

2. The Ice Dams and water damage of the Winter 2015 in Southern NE brought new challenges and the Storms of the past 10-15 years has brought much awareness due to hurricanes, flooding, nor’easter storms and even the ice dams. Ask questions if flooding, ice dams, leaky roofs or plumbing occurred with the history of the house. Ask if mold contamination and growth was a problem? Ask if proper repairs were properly corrected by removal versus just painting over or putting a ‘band aid’ over the existing problem. If mold remediation was conducted and renovations properly completed (repairing the source of water leaks) and documented.

3. Indoor air quality in general is a growing concern and if you have asthma and/or allergies this may affect your health and breathing! Some people are more sensitive and have a weaker immune system when it comes to mold or excess moisture and excess relative humidity. properly installed dehumidification and sump pumps with drainage where necessary are important.

Remember purchasing or owning your own home is a lifetime investment and the castle you will live inside for numerous hours. Mold contamination can affect your property value and your health. It is wise to ask questions and address the above issues to allow you to breathe easier in the comfort of your home.

For Better Health,

Andy Provitola – CMC

If you would like more information please go to:
Environmental Resources LLC

Heat Loss- Ice Dams Culprit for Attic Mold Growth!

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So often in attic spaces especially in the Northeast region attics have large area spaces and most of the homes are very old. Many home inspectors keep pointing out that the ventilation or an improperly vented bath exhaust fan cause the mold growth. This can be true but in many instances of assessments but the real culprit for the mold contamination and growth is due to heat loss! Yes, heat loss due to lack of proper insulation R-value installed in the floor joist to keep the heat in its proper place – The Living Space. The purpose of insulation is to keep your home warm where you live and sleep not your attic. Attic space temperature is similar to outside space and should be within a five degree difference. During the cold or winter months films of frost eaves slightly buildup on the roof bays overnight. When the heat escapes into the attic area it melts the frost from the roof bays causing the plywood or pine boards to become moist and wet. The longer the moisture stays on the wood substance the greater potential for mold fungi is ripe to grow. Excess snow and ice dams standing on the roof can also be a causation for mold growth. Water seeps into the roof bays freeze and then melt due to heat loss or a rapid increase or spike  in warmer temperatures i.e. 20 degrees Fahrenheit (F) to say 50 -60 degrees F in a day. In the northern climates attic experience this more verses warmer southern climates. Consider a mold assessment/inspection or an energy audit utilizing Thermal Infrared Camera optimization to determine if heat loss is occurring due to temperature differential Several energy audit companies observe this heat loos and moisture problem usually identifying some form of staining of the attic roof bays and recommended to conduct an assessment for mold before any insulation is added.
Andy Provitola CMC-Certified Microbial Consultant
Environmental Resources LLC
316 Washington Street
Norwell, MA 02061

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