Snow Day!

Well, here is a problem we don’t often see in Victoria. Too much snow! Snow and ice can lead to damage to your home if you don’t keep on top of it.

Preventing water damage can be as simple as keeping your downspouts clear and running. If they are overflowing onto the ground the water is not going into the proper collection system and being led away from your house. More water than normal in the ground can cause some of it to leak into your basement or crawl space.

Watch your wall vents for things like dryers and high efficiency furnaces. If these vents become blocked by snow or ice the gasses that are supposed to be vented out of your home can back up into your home and cause damage or unsafe conditions and/or your appliances may not work correctly.

Look around at your trees and shrubs. Heavy wet snow can cause significant damage to trees and shrubs if not cleared. Heavy limbs can also break off of trees and damage structures that they fall on.

Seal any air leaks you may feel around door and windows. This will keep your house warm and can reduce your heating costs.

Watch out for ice dams on your roof. Ice dams result from snowfall melting unevenly on your roof and water running down from the peak area towards the eaves where it can refreeze.  This gradually forms a barrier called an ice dam that prevents roof runoff from entering the gutters. As snow-melt and runoff increases, water gradually backs up on the roof. Roof shingles are designed to keep water out when it is running down across the top of the shingle, they are not so good at keeping water out that is backing up on the surface caused by ice dams at the eaves. This can cause water to enter your attic and damage surfaces and insulation.

You can prevent ice dams by keeping attic temperatures uniformly cold, make sure attic vents are open, and keep household heat out of the attic by sealing cracks in the ceiling and gaps around light fixtures and pipes that pass through the ceiling.

Remember, some of these issues may require a professional to accomplish. If you are uncertain about anything, you don’t have the tools or you don’t want to walk on your roof-for example, call you local home repair professional.