Monthly Archives: November 2020

Winterizing Your Roof

Winterizing your roof can prevent damage from icy conditions and make your life easier in the long run. Prevention costs less than repair and replacement! Here are some ways to keep your roof intact all winter long.

 

Clean Gutters, Downspouts and Roof Areas

When rain and snow hit your roof, they leave through your gutters if applicable, as we don’t typically install gutters. Keeping gutters and downspouts debris-free prevents poor drainage.  Proper drainage prevents damage to your roof, landscaping and siding.  To protect your foundation, ensure downspouts are pointed away from the house. Good practice is to drain into a splash block.

Additionally, debris has a habit of getting trapped in valleys on the roof and can prevent water, snow and ice from draining, which causes damage.

 

Insulate & Vent Your Attic

Insulating and ventilating your attic will prevent heat loss and money loss in energy bills.  They can also help prevent ice dams and icicles from forming. Check with a local roofing expert for their recommendations on your roof’s insulation.

 

Check for Damage

Before winter starts, inspect your roof.  Pay special attention to any areas where you have had repairs before and make sure all shingles are intact. This can prevent leaks and further damage.

 

Trim Your Trees

When snow falls, it can weigh down tree branches.  Heavy branches can break and fall onto the roof of your home. Remove and trim the branches that extend over your roof to prevent limbs from landing on your home.

These tips will help you get through winter and protect the roof over your head.  However, if you detect a leak, do not walk on the roof while it is wet. Shingles are very slippery when wet and walking on the roof is potentially harmful to the roof itself.  If you are able to go into the attic space, it is recommended to install a bucket or container to prevent excessive damages. If this is done, be sure that the container is placed on a SOLID surface and is empties periodically depending on how bad the leak is, and how fast it will fill the container. Take note of where the leak is located and call a professional or inspect it yourself once the shingles are dry.

Winterizing Pipes and Exterior Fixtures

Before winter hits, we often take measures to winterize our lives. We may buy sweaters, new boots, chains and antifreeze for the car, and generally get our lives ready for cold weather. Just like our wardrobe and our vehicles, it is important to prepare your home for lower temperatures.

One specific way to prep your home for winter is to winterize your pipes. Winterizing pipes can protect your plumbing system, as well as keep your water accessible, even when the weather is below freezing. By winterizing your pipes, you will prevent water freezing inside the pipe which stops the line and can burst the pipe.

Here are a few things to do before the first freeze of the year arrives.

 

Drain, Turn Off, and Disconnect

Outside the home, make sure to disconnect and drain any garden hoses. Locate the shut-off valve for the exterior faucets and close the valve to stop the water inside the home.  The shut off valve may be in an access panel, or near the back wall in a garage or basement.  Open the exterior faucet to drain any remaining water in the pipe.  Leave the exterior faucet turned on (open) for the winter to prevent the trapping and freezing of moisture.

 

Keep a Heat Source On

Heating your home is one of the best defenses against freezing pipes.  A warm environment prevents freezing.  Keep your thermostat set at 60 degrees or higher during very cold weather.

 

Insulate

Insulate outdoor or exposed pipes with insulation sleeves, wrapping or using slip-on foam pipe insulation. Do not leave any gaps in the insulation.  Cold air can affect the pipe in these spaces. Good practice is to tape to prevent sun dry rot of insulation, so it doesn’t have to be done as often.

 

Going Out of Town? Prep the Pipes.

If you are leaving your home for an extended period during cold weather, you may need to take extra precautions. Keep the thermostat set at 60 degrees or higher and drain water lines before you leave. To do this, turn all sinks, shower heads, etc. on at around half flow with both hot and cold water, then shut off the main water valve, any water pump and the hot water heater.  Leave the faucets on and flush every toilet.  This should drain the water from your interior pipes.

When you return home, turn on the main water valve and pump.  Let water flow through the pipes and water fixtures for a few minutes. This may be noisy for a few moments. After you turn off the faucets, toilets should fill up again, too.  Be sure to turn your hot water heater back on once it fills. If a toilet, faucet, or showerhead does not have water coming through it, you may have a frozen line. If that is the case, call a plumber immediately.