Winter Home Protection Tips: Protect your home from snow and ice

Ice DamEven though technically speaking it hasn’t begun yet, winter has arrived in Wisconsin.  Our temperatures have dropped, snow is falling, and that means that it’s time to make sure you know how to take care of your home when winter drops ten inches of snow on us.  There are a few occurrences that can make a big difference to your home, as well as some that are often misunderstood by many people, and we’re here to clear the air a bit for you. Here are our most useful winter home protection tips.

First of all, an abundance of snow on your roof can be a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean you should scrape it all off with a rake and damage your shingles!  One square foot of compacted snow can weigh upwards of 50 lbs.  So if you’ve got even 50 sq. ft. of roof with that much snow on it, you could be looking at literally a ton of snow on your roof!  So while it can be a good idea to clear your roof of snow, using a roof rake isn’t always the best choice.  If you do use one, make sure that it utilizes some sort of roller or brush instead of metal or plastic prongs.  If it has prongs there’s a good chance that it can damage your shingles, which can lead to worse issues down the road, so be careful what you use.

Now snow is one thing, ice is another.  It’s important to get that snow off your roof so that it doesn’t melt and refreeze to create an ice dam.  Ice dams can get very messy for homeowners.  They can drain water inside, ruin walls, paint, etc. and ultimately cause plenty of issues to your home.  If you can keep snow off your roof, you should be able to avoid ice dams.  However, if one is already there on your roof and in your gutters, you need to be careful how you take care of it in order to prevent further damage as well.  Avoid using an ice chipper or hammer, as it can also damage your roof and gutters in the process.  There are several ways to take care of ice dams, and even ways to avoid them entirely.

A slideshow done by thisoldhouse.com shows how ice dams are created, and what some of the best ways to get rid of them are.  The link to that slideshow is below:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20557572,00.html

These are two of the more common issues that you could have in the winter, and in Wisconsin, it’s practically a guarantee that you’ll end up with a load of snow on your roof.  Make sure you’re prepared for all that snow, and if you’re concerned about any other part of your home, give us a call!

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