Winterize Your Home
Winter in Colorado can be spectacular: the Rocky Mountains and the forests spreading throughout Montrose, Ouray, Gunnison, Telluride, Ridgway, and Delta become a magical wonderland of snow, ice, and clear blue skies.
But winter also comes with ice. And ice damage can be significant—and expensive. It’s better to be prepared than face flooding in your house or a broken roof. Here are some basic precautions you can take to protect your home from ice damage and winter-related disasters.
Ice Dams: a Reality in Colorado
Have you ever seen hanging icicles from rooftops? This very image of winter may look lovely and picturesque but icicles, or ice dams, are often a sign of ice damage underneath.
Ice dams build up at the edge of the roof, usually along the gutters.
While innocent-looking, these icicles are called ice dams because they stop water from flowing and draining from the roof to the gutters and eventually to the ground. In doing so, they act as dams.
How Are Ice Dams Formed?
Ice dams form when the temperature hovers around freezing point and while there is snow on the roof. Water freezes, melts, and freezes again. This can be the result of ventilation or heated air in the attic causing snow to melt and then immediately freeze. That results in ice dams forming along the edge of the rooftop.
Why Should I Be Concerned about Ice Dams?
Small ice dams will probably not cause any damage, but bigger ones will prevent water from draining from your roof to the ground. This ultimately leads to water buildup as snow slowly melts and can’t find any way out. This water can seep through your insulation and cause flooding or roof damage.
Also, icicles hanging from your roof can damage your roof and gutters: ice is heavy and may pull down parts of the roof such as shingles or even the gutters with its weight.
What Can I Do to Prevent Ice Dams?
The best way to protect your home from ice dams is to ensure that you have good and effective insulation. This is the most efficient way to secure your home and protect it not only from ice damage but also from high heating bills and humidity buildup.
Make sure that your attic, in particular, is well insulated and that no air is leaking out. That way, no warm air can melt the snow. Ideally, your attic should be cooler than the rest of the house to prevent the heat from melting the snow on the roof.
You should also ensure that your gutters are clean of any branches, dirt, leaves, and other debris. Having clean gutters ensures that the water flows freely toward the ground and down the drain.
Finally, check that your gutters are securely attached to the roof and walls. That way, even if ice dams form, they will not take down any parts of the gutter with them.
Pipes can freeze if not properly insulated: your home will have no water and you risk facing broken or burst pipes.
Insulating your exposed pipes is the best way to protect your home from frost. If parts of the pipes are indoors, make sure these areas are relatively heated so that water flows freely and no ice forms inside the pipes.
If you leave your home for several days in a row, don’t turn off the heating. Lower the temperature but leave the heating on, so that your home maintains a relatively stable and warm temperature and the pipes stay above freezing level at all times.
Cracks and Holes
If you see small cracks and holes in your home, fix them right away. If water seeps through and freezes, it will expand. Small cracks and holes will fast become bigger and damage your home, walls, and ceiling.
Cracks are particularly dangerous when the snow melts. Imagine having a crack in your basement while large quantities of snow are sitting on your roof. You risk flooding your basement the moment snow starts melting!
Valley Restoration and Construction Are Here
Sometimes, no matter how well-prepared you are, ice, snow, and cold weather can still damage your home. Extreme weather cannot be predicted and strong snowfall can cause damage despite your best preparations.
Valley Restoration and Construction are here to mitigate any disaster. We will repair your home from ice, water, and snow damage.
We have expert knowledge, experience, and dedicated personnel who will answer your phone call 24/7 and be with you as soon as possible.