Space Heaters

DonanEngineering Appliance, Product & Component Failures, Component Testing, Fire Investigation, Residential & Commercial Structure Fires

A space heater is a device designed to warm a small area.  These devices are typically portable, but the category does include gas- and wood-fueled models that are permanently installed; however, these are not the focus of this article. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that “in 2010, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported U.S. home structure …

Figure 1: Ice ridge formed along of the shore of Shamineau Lake in Morrison County, Minnesota

Winter Perils in a Northern Climate

DonanEngineering Forensic Engineering

Winter weather can adversely affect properties in cold northern climates in many ways.  One such way is when lakeshore properties are constructed too close to the shoreline.  Ice heaving or ice jacking is a natural phenomenon that occurs in lakes where sheets of ice push on the shoreline soils and cause the formation of ridges.  The Minnesota Department of Natural …


Condensation, Dew Point and Winter

DonanEngineering Articles, Commercial & Residential Roofing, Forensic Engineer, Forensic Engineering, Structural Damage & Collapse, Water Losses, Winter Storm

Most people know in a general sense what condensation is, and some may even have an understanding of its cause given their experience and perhaps a recollection of high school science.  These same folks may also know that there is a connection between condensation and the terms “dew point” and “relative humidity,” but that is usually where most people’s knowledge …

Photograph 1: Photograph of an ice dam.

Ice Damming: Detection, Cause & Prevention

DonanEngineering Articles, Commercial & Residential Roofing, Forensic Engineer, Forensic Engineering, Registered Roofing Consultant, Structural Damage & Collapse, Winter Storm

Ice dams and their resultant leaks can be an expensive and even chronic problem in those regions where snow-covered roofs are a common occurrence. To understand their detection, cause, and prevention requires some understanding of the dynamics of a structure’s construction, insulation, and ventilation. Ice dams most commonly make their presence known when the owner or tenant of a shingle-covered …


Temperatures Drop, the Heat Rises: Fire Season Outlook

As temperatures drop and Americans gear up for winter, there are some increased fire dangers that many overlook in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. If winter fire risks conjure images of charred Christmas trees or an illuminated Santa Claus and reindeer bursting into flames, you’d be missing some of the more subtle, but more common dangers. Donan’s fire experts share …


Winter Weather Outlook

Last year’s Polar Vortex has carriers and insureds alike asking, how will this winter compare? It may be too early to tell if the country will receive the relentless beating from Mother Nature that occurred last winter, but several recent articles provided some insight into what’s ahead. Claims Journal reports that the upcoming winter season is expected to be snowy and wet …