Snow and ice are the stuff of holiday cheer. When the first snowflake falls, people of all ages tend to flock outside to have fun. Unfortunately, for homes that are not winterproofed, that means dealing with ice dams, chilly garages, and other worries of a busy homeowner.
Before the next winter season comes, remember to check if your garage bay heaters are working, if your home’s HVAC systems are properly configured, and if you’ve got any rooms in need of repair. In addition, check the following for any damage:
Your Roof and Walls
Ice dams happen when water solidifies along the edge of roofs and prevent dammed water and snow from falling or melting down. Heat insulation is lost by conduction from top to bottom due to the snow piling up on the roof. The dammed water may also seep through ceilings, insulation, and walls. Wall stains, faulty insulation, mold and mildew, and malfunctioning electrical wirings can result from ice dams.
To prevent ice dams from forming, ensure that your ceiling and attic are well insulated before the winter comes. Check your walls for any insulation damage, seal spots where air may leak, and consider doubling the insulation in your ceiling and roof.
Remember to rake snow from your roof regularly or ask a professional to do it for you. Roof rakes, push brooms, and careful pressure to avoid roof damage will keep snow from piling up and forming ice dams.
Your car is susceptible to winter damage. Fluids like antifreeze or oil can thicken in cold temperatures, battery capacities are reduced or killed altogether, tires let out more air, and leaking can result from the snow constantly freezing or thawing in quick intervals. Road salt can also cause damage to your car’s undercarriage.
The wisest early investment you could make is to buy bay heaters for your garage. That way, the worst of the cold is expelled from your garage. Bring your car in every day to avoid a pile-up of snow.
Your Trees and Shrubs
Trees are normally okay on their own during winter, though alert homeowners will still be better served by observing the health of their foliage. Brooms are good for dusting off or nudging out heavy snow off tree branches, which could break branches off tall shrubs or trees. Call in a professional for preventative pruning in case you observe fragile or overhang branches that could break off in heavy snowfall.
Wooden planks can be used to shield smaller shrubs from excessive snow from natural snowfall or the snow you rake from your roof. Upright, tall, or willowy shrubs need extra support to retain their shape. Cloth or plastic ties are ideal for tying shrubbery together to protect their curvature.
Still unsatisfied with your checkup? Tons of guides exist online to help you winterize your home. Most ways to winterproof homes also cost next to nothing or involve purchases and repairs that are affordable. Fixer-uppers that need heavy lifting, either literally or financially should be done before snowfall starts.
Preparing homes for the potential dangers of extreme weather conditions is a safe investment. Adequate preparation protects your property and belongings against easily preventable damages that can cost thrice as much as what you would need to spend if you forego proper preparation.