There has been no shortage of cold weather and snow storm warnings for the east coast this season. As a homeowner, protecting your property from the risks that winter weather brings is important. Snow, ice, winds and other extreme conditions are likely during storms and can lead to damage as well as property loss.
Here are some tips to ensure your home is safe when winter weather conditions occur.
Preventing a Roof Collapse
Snow accumulations on your home’s roof present a potential for collapse. Even if you have a fairly new roof, more than 20 pounds a square foot can cause it to collapse. These limits can change depending on the shape of your roof and the design of your home. If your roof has other issues, is fairly old or already has some leaks, then you don’t want heavy snow and ice to sit up there for very long. Hire a professional contractor to remove the snow from your roof or use a roof rake to alleviate some the stress on it before a collapse happens.
Frozen Pipe Problems
Frozen pipes are a threat in extremely cold temperatures. The issue with burst pipes in your home is that even after they are repaired, you’ll be dealing with water restoration and damage bills which can get pretty expensive. Rather than chance a pipe bursting, you should take precautions like allowing faucets to remain dripping during freezing temperatures and keeping doors that lead to colder areas closed as much as possible.
Ice Dams on Your Roof
Ice dams are most common in winter when you have several storms that bring in snow. Once your home’s roof starts to heat up from the sunlight, warm temps or heat rising from the home, water from the melting snow will start to trickle down through the gutter system. If you gutters are clogged or not working efficiently and this water refreezes, it can become very difficult to melt. In fact, it will take much longer to dissolve than other snow that is melting and when that moisture has nowhere else to go, it will end up under your roof shingles and into the home.
Avoid this problem by ensuring your gutters are cleared and functioning properly. You should also check that your attic has enough insulation to keep the heat from escaping and make sure all vents on your roof are opened.
Fire Hazards in the Home
While the temperatures drop, you may be using your home’s fireplace or other electric heaters and blankets. Be careful to use them responsibly as they also increase the potential for fires in your home. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. Avoid hazards by following manufacturer instructions on proper usage and remembering to turn these resources off when unattended.