Fall is waning and winter is coming. In Colorado, snow and ice have already caused problems for homeowners, especially those at higher elevations. The snow and ice will keep coming for a few more months, but it’s not too late to protect yourself from the cold winter weather already hitting northern Colorado.
Here are a few tips to avoid costly damage to your home during the winter months:
Protect Your Pipes
If you think back to grade school science class, you’ll remember that water expands when it freezes, which, if you’re not careful, will cause your pipes to burst. To avoid this massively damaging calamity, drain all the water from your outside spigots and sprinkler systems and disconnect any outside hoses you have hooked up to these spigots. It’s also a good idea to cover your outdoor spigots with insulators found at your local hardware or home supply store. Check to see if you have pipes running through uninsulated areas like garages or basements, and cover them with insulation, too.
It’s also a good idea to learn where your water shut-off switch is, in case the worst happens. With most homes, it’s in the basement or buried in your front yard with a concrete or plastic covering.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning the gutters is my least favorite job. I dislike any chore involving ladders. But cleaning them, or getting them cleaned, will prevent ice dams from forming in your gutters, which will cause roof damage. Ice dams occur when snow and ice melts during the day on your roof, starts to flow through your gutters, then freezes overnight, clogging your downspouts if there’s already a good deal of debris there. Then there’s nowhere for more runoff to go. If ice and snow starts to congregate, it will start to build up under the roof line when it melts, which can lead to leaking and worse.
Watch for Snow Overload
You don’t want snow and ice to melt too rapidly and cause ice dams and overload your gutters and downspouts, but you also don’t want the snow to build up to the point your roof is sagging. After periods of heavy snow and cold temperatures, venture outside to look at the roof and check for sagging areas. Also, listen for cracking and popping sounds coming from your roof. If you notice any of these things, contact a roofing company immediately to remove the excess snow and weight. You can also get a rake and try to pull some of the snow off the edge of the roof. Whatever you do, don’t try to get on a slippery roof yourself to remove the snow. That’s asking for trouble.
Remove Damaged or Sagging Tree Branches Hanging Over Your House
The ice and snow weigh tree branches down, sometimes causing them to break off and fall. Make sure there aren’t any tree branches already damaged hanging over your house before the snows come. It’s a good idea to remove branches that could damage your home if they fall in general.
Your home’s exterior will likely take a beating from the winter weather this season as well. Make sure your paint can hold up to the moisture and cold this season, and contact Ireland’s Finest for a consultation to help protect your home from the elements this winter.