Tuesday, October 3

Ice dam causes ceiling to collapse in mens’ apartment

Photo by Craig White

By Christy Ulmet

Craig White, Sean Kilpatrick and Caleb Willis were gifted with a skylight in their apartment, or rather, a giant hole in the ceiling and tons of insulation scattered all through their living room.

Last week’s winter weather caused the ceiling to collapse Sunday morning in the three mens’ living room, leaving them with a gaping hole above them covered by a tarp until further notice.

The hole was caused by what is known as an “ice dam,” which occurs when ice that has accumulated on roofs melts into gutters and then refreezes.

Ice damming has caused issues all over Middle Tennessee in the past week as a result of the ice and snow storms. Dan Boone, university president, is also cleaning up from an ice dam that collapsed in his home over the weekend.

White and Kilpatrick were awoken Sunday by the loud crashing sound coming from their living room.

“We thought we were getting broken into, but I realized that’s not really possible since I’m on the second floor,” White said.

The two discovered the ceiling collapse at around 11 a.m. and sent some photos to their resident assistant to let him know.

More than anything, White said, they’re annoyed. But they’re thankful there was no permanent damage on their belongings, and that they weren’t in the living room at the time.

The insulation and dry wall have been cleaned from White’s apartment, and the hole in the ceiling will be fixed once the area has had some time to dry out.

Students have no reason to be afraid of this happening in other apartments, said Steve Harris, associate provost and dean of student development, because it likely would have happened by now.

“There’s really nothing to be scared about. The roof is structurally sound,” Harris said.

The first sign of ice damming is a puddle-like shape in the ceiling, and students should let their Resident Assistants know if this appears on their ceilings.

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