Winter is just around the bend and while the inside of your house is warm and cozy, the cold weather will be taking a major toll on the exterior. If you are aware of the risks and take the right preventative measures, you can ride out the winter with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all is well outside. Here are a few areas to start thinking about.
Your roof protects you from the wet and cold day in and day out, without so much of a thought from the people inside. But winter can do a number on your roof. Part of the problem comes from the freeze and thaw cycle that occurs all winter long. When precipitation freezes on your roof, it can create an ice dam. When a thaw occurs, part of the ice melts but the dam around it holds the water from draining off the roof, causing days or even weeks of standing water. This often happens at seems, where the roof is most vulnerable and leaks are more likely to occur. To prevent leaks, a roofer can identify problem spots and fortify them in preparation for winter.
Another part of your home’s exterior that is at-risk from the freeze and thaw cycle is your driveway. Winter can cause a driveway to crack if you don’t take action to sealcoat it. Water from rain or snow can permeate even tiny pores in the concrete. When this freezes, the water expands, forming cracks and holes in the surface. The more this happens, the bigger the cracks and holes will be. You can prevent this by sealing your driveway before the start of winter. Water will be unable to be absorbed, and danger will be averted.
When temperatures plummet, freezing pipes are a common occurrence that can cause massive damage. When pipes freeze, they block your plumbing until the next thaw. But watch out! The expanding ice inside the pipes are likely to have caused cracks to form, which means that the next thaw will produce major leaks, possibly inside walls and ceilings. To prevent this, disconnect all hoses from the spigot, insulate pipes, and drain your sprinkler system. These simple preventative measures can save you a world of trouble later.
Winter waits for no one, and the elements won’t take pity on your house. But you can outsmart them by inspecting the outside of your home, identifying trouble spots, and taking action to prevent damage. And then you can settle in for the long winter feeling cozy and safe!
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