Is Your Home Ready for the next Snowstorm in Frederick?
Although the winter brings the holiday season, there are also some unfortunate side effects. Aside from the cold weather, there’s often snowfall in many areas of the country. While snow is beautiful (and great for the kids), it isn’t so great for your property. So let’s make sure you are prepared for the next snowstorm in Frederick. There are several problems that come along with heavy snow, including expensive damage to your property. However, you can mitigate damages by taking the proper precautions each year, and ensuring you have proper snow plow measurements in place.
So, take out your pen and paper for notes. Winter is coming. To get yourself ready for any big snowstorm, by following these precautionary measures:
Prevent Ice Dams
Although icicles on homes look nice, there’s likely a problem if there are a lot of them when there’s a snowstorm. Ice buildup can form an “ice dam”, or a place on your home where meltwater backs up and flows to your house. Luckily, you can take some easy steps to prevent it. Do the following to keep your home safe:
- Insulate Your Attic: There should be proper insulation in your attic to prevent too much heat being transferred from your home to the attic. You should check vents, chimney systems, and light fixtures.
- Ventilate Your Attic: Not all attics were built with a ventilation system. If your home wasn’t built with one, you should contact a qualified contractor about ventilating your attic before winter comes. Otherwise, you risk ice melting down into the attic and freezing again.
Before winter comes, you should call a weatherization contractor to come out to your house to identify and fix air leaks and areas of poor insulation throughout your HVAC ductwork and roofing.
Examine Your Roof
You should get up on your roof and examine it every year before winter comes. While up there, look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that could let water into your home when it snows. If you find that there are problem areas, consider hiring a handyman or roofer to fix it up before a storm hits your area. Also, be sure to check the seals around vent stacks and chimneys for any buildup of dust that may become sealed with ice.. If you’re in the southwest of the country, you may be wondering what you should do with your flat, asphalt roof. Before winter comes, you should blow all leaves and pine needles off of the roof to keep them from absorbing moisture and weighing down your roof. When working on rooftops, always be safe! Watch your footing and have someone assist using the ladder.
Seal Windows and Doors
To test whether you need to caulk around your windows and doors, you can test the gaps between siding and windows by attempting to place a nickel between it. If the nickel fits into the gap, you need to reapply caulk. Also, check the joints in the windows and door frames. One of the best types of caulk to use is silicone because it won’t shrink when the weather gets cold. Make sure that you cannot see any daylight coming into your home. To be safe, you should also check vents and fans, plumbing areas, air conditioners, mail chutes, and electrical/gas lines.
Clean the Gutters
A lot of people forget about their gutters throughout the year. However, a lot of stuff builds up in there over the course of fall, and it can cause problems come winter. When snow falls, it’s possible that water can back up in the gutters and damage you home. An average roof can hold around four feet of snow before there’s a problem, so consider keeping a roof rake on hand to clear your roof throughout winter. A roof rake is just a longer version of a normal rake that you can use to clear off your roof from the comfort of the ground.
Change the Water’s Path
As part of your gutter system, you have a downspout that directs water from the gutters and away from your house. You’ll want to redirect your downspout so that water runs at least three or four feet away from the foundation of your home.
Stock Up on Supplies
The last thing that you want during a snowstorm is to realize when you’re out of important maintenance supplies. Whether it’s salt, ice melt, or fluids for your snow blower, ensure that you have enough of everything to at least get you through the first big snow storm. You don’t want to rush to the store at the last minute like everybody else.
Have an Emergency Sump Pump
Although snow is beautiful, it’s still just water at the end of the day. When that beautiful snow melts, there will be water all over the place. Thus, you could end up with a flooded basement. If your power goes out along with the snow melting, you might be in trouble. Keep a battery-powered sump pump on hand just in case.
Have a Lock De-Icer
There’s nothing more frustrating in a snowstorm than not being able to unlock a door. Solve that problem by keeping a lock de-icer on hand.
Trim Trees Around the House
Look around your house for trees. If there are any branches hanging low around your roof, gutters, or house, trim them before it gets too cold outside. When it snows, that snow is going to sit on those branches. If the weight of the snow breaks the branches, it can cause significant damage to your home.
Get Started Today
There’s no better time to start preparing your house for the winter than today. There’s a lot to get done, and people often don’t realize that they didn’t do it until it’s too late. To help get yourself started, make a checklist of everything that we listed and set dates for which you will get everything done. To keep your home structurally healthy for the long run and your bank account full, it’s important you handle necessary snowstorm preps as soon as possible. Here is a checklist for you to use! Checklist for Snowstorm Preparation If you ever need assistance, be sure to call a qualified professional out to your home to get their opinion. Give us a call today if you have any questions! Call us at (301) 327-2226 today!