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Keep Your Home Safe from Winter Storm Damage

by Donald Woods

Winter is hard on everyone, and frequent winter storms can be tough on your home as well. When temperatures drop and the snow starts flying, many homeowners spend less time outdoors, and that means they could miss damage to their homes caused by snow, ice and other winter perils.

Even when the temperatures drop below zero, it is a good idea to check the exterior of your home for common winter storm damage. Catching these problems early can help you avoid significant damage (and high expenses) down the road.

Be Alert for Ice Dams

Ice dams are common in the wintertime, and they can result in serious roof damage. Ice dams form when the ice near the middle of your roof melts and then refreezes closer to the edges.

Luckily there is a tell-tale sign that ice dams have formed. If you see icicles hanging from the corners of your roof, you might have a problem with ice damming. Cleaning away the snow and ice from around your roof can help you prevent roof damage, and keeping your attic cool can stop future ice dams from forming. Check the temperature of your attic; it should be no more than 10 degrees warmer than the outside air. Sealing up holes from ceiling fans and light fixtures can stop heat from escaping and forming ice dams.

Invest in a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Winter often comes with power outages, and that can drive homeowners to alternative sources of heat. Some of those heat sources can give off dangerous carbon monoxide, especially if they are not properly maintained.

Invest in a carbon monoxide detector before winter starts so you will be ready for those inevitable power outages. Even if you are sure your heating sources are safe, a carbon monoxide detector can give you, and your family, peace of mind.

Keep Your Roof Clean and Clear

A small build-up of snow and ice on your roof should not cause much of a problem if your roof is in good condition, but a heavy build-up of wet snow can lead to serious damage.

Be sure to check your roof carefully after every snowstorm and look for spots where large amounts of snow have accumulated. Light fluffy snow generally does not pose much of a risk, but heavy wet snow can be bad for your roof. Homeowners can purchase a roof rake with a long telescoping handle to remove accumulated snow and ice safely. Going up on the roof is not a good idea, especially on a cold winter day.

Consider a Generator

If your property is prone to frequent power outages, a generator can be your best friend. Homeowners can use their generators to power freezers and prevent food spoilage, connect an electric heater to keep the house comfortable and provide basic communication services until the lights come back on.

It is important to choose the right generator for the home, since a small generator may not be able to keep up with the demand. A whole-house generator can be a good choice as well, since these units can be set to come on automatically as soon as the traditional power fails. Companies like Total Generators have professionals on staff who can help you choose a generator for hire and be ready for winter.