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Author: 
Kevin
Date: 
Thursday, January 14, 2016

Preparing Your Home for Winter Storms

Protect your home this winter by performing a few tasks before winter storms hit, rather than scrambling at the last minute. Not only will a properly winterized home run more efficiently and cost less money, but a little preventive maintenance can save you many costly repairs after a storm.

Heating Equipment / Chimneys

Have your chimneys and heating equipment cleaned and inspected every year. If your chimney is leaning or the mortar is crumbling, it is less costly to make repairs and adjustments now than having to fully replace the whole chimney after a storm. When you are away from your home, never set your heat below 55° F to prevent your home’s pipes from freezing.

Generators:

To keep your heat and power running (and possibly your pipes from freezing,) you should consider investing in a generator. An automatic standby generator will switch on immediately following a power outage and may qualify you for a discount on your homeowners insurance. Be sure your generator is placed it in a well-ventilated, covered area such as a shed or an outbuilding, but not a garage or basement due to the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Frozen Water lines

Some of the most expensive winter home damages are burst pipes. Find your home’s main water valve so you can turn it off in the event of a burst pipe. Drain your water system if you are going to be away from your home for an extended amount of time. Otherwise, keep a trickle of water running through pipes that run through unheated or unprotected spaces and leave the doors of cabinets that contain your home’s pipes open. Wrap the exposed pipes in the cold parts of your home with insulation sleeves.

Outside your Home

Keep your gutters clear to prevent water from backing up under your roof shingles and freezing. Make sure downspouts are clear and are diverting water away from your home. Trim tree branches near your home or power lines. Seal drafty windows and doors with weatherstripping or caulk. Consider installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside. Replace damaged siding and roof flashing to prevent water and ice from entering your home.

Attic & Roof

Be sure your attic well insulated in order to keep your home’s heat in but keeps your attic cool enough that snow is less likely to melt and refreeze, causing an ice dam. Proper ventilation and maintenance of a temperature close to that of the outdoors will also help prevent ice dams. An ice dam forms when snow melts and runs down your roof, then refreezes at the roof’s edges, creating a dam. This ice builds up and forces water underneath your roof, into your attic, and inside the walls of your home. To help prevent ice dams, keep your attic temperature no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than outside.

An Struxure roofing system is a great choice for your outdoor spaces. Rest easy knowing that your Struxure system is equipped to handle any winter storm by being engineered to withstand high winds and heavy snow loads. Call us today to discuss protecting your outdoor areas with the best outdoor roofing system around…Struxure!