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Tuesday, 14 January 2014 18:41

Reducing Severe Winter Weather Risks for your home

Slippery sidewalks and snow covered cars bad enough for you?

Well, during this time of year you face another potential headache. Ruined carpets and water damage to ceilings and walls from leaks caused by ice dams or bursting pipes. There are several steps you can take to avoid that kind of headache.

ICE DAMS

An ice dam is the accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. When interior heat melts the snow on the roof the water will run down and refreeze at the roof's edge. Ice builds up and blocks water from draining off the roof. That causes the water under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your house. This can cause serious damage. Here is what you can do:

 - Keep the attic well ventilated. The colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on the roof

 - Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house

Freezing Pipes

Frozen water in pipes can cause water pressure buildup between ice blockage and the closed faucet at the end of a pipe, which can lead to pipes bursting at their weakest point. Pipes is attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable to freezing, especially when holes in your outside walls for TV, cable or phone allow cold air to reach in. Here is what you can do:

To keep water in pipes from freezing:

 - Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves or wrapping

 - Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundation with caulking

 - Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around pipes (particularly in the kitchen and bathrooms)

 - Drain pipes that lead to the outside and are not being used during the winter