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Ice Dam On a Slate Roof

How to Prevent Cold Weather Damage to Your Home This Winter

Prevent Cold Weather Damage to Your Home

Water damage during cold months can occur from many sources such as pipes freezing, ice dams, and groundwater to name a few. So, what do you do to Prevent Cold Weather Damage to Your Home?

Winterization

Make sure all outside hose spigots are winterized, this should be done before the temperatures go below freezing. Turn off the water supply to the spigots and then open them to drain any excess water.

Insulating

Insulate any water supply lines that are located on exterior walls of your home or in areas that are prone to freeze such as a crawlspace. Water supply lines located in these areas more likely to freeze and rupture. Sometimes insulating these lines is not enough to prevent them from freezing. If that is the case, you may need to wrap them with heat tape. Also, you can always leave faucets with a slight drip to keep water moving and help prevent the water supply lines from freezing.

Ice Dams

Severe Ice Dam, Prevent Cold Weather Damage to Your Home

Ice Dams form around the eaves of roofs when snow melts at the top of the roof faster than around the bottom. This causes the freshly melted snow, now water to get trapped at the bottom eve of the roof and refreezes. This process keeps repeating itself until an ice dam forms. The key to preventing ice dams is to make sure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated. In cases where insulation and ventilation are unable to be properly installed you can install heating cable around the eve to keep ice dams at bay.

When melting occurs around you home it can lead to excess ground water coming into your crawlspace or basement typically through what is called hydrostatic pressure. To help ensure this doesn’t happen to your home there are a few steps you can take.

Preventing Ice Dams

  • Always make sure the grading of your home slopes away from the structure. This includes the ground, cement, patios, decks, and porches.
  • Make sure your gutters and downspouts are properly functioning. Gutters should slope towards the downspouts. Downspouts should be extended 6 feet away from your foundation. The entire gutter system should be kept clean and free flowing.
  • Test your sump pump regularly to ensure it is working. It is also important to make sure the sump pump discharge line is located far enough away from your home to make sure the water won’t just re-enter. Lastly, it is a worth installing a backup system on your sump pump. These come in a variety of types such as a water backup systems or a battery backup system.

These are just a few tips to help prevent water damage to your home during the winter months. Remember water is the number one destroyer of a home and a little preventative maintenance now can prevent major expenses later.

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First we would like to say our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by COVID-19. We would like to also express our sincere gratitude for all of the first responders and their hard work.

In light of recent news regarding COVID-19 in Michigan, The Department of Insurance and Financial Services, inspections are deemed an “Essential Service”, and our office has implemented policies in line with what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services are recommending. All of our inspectors have also taken and passed the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI’s) class COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Home Inspectors and gained Certification.

Keeping Everyone SAFE!

Typically, we encourage our client(s) to attend their home inspection however, the current COVID-19 guidelines dictate that we no longer are allowed to have our client(s) or their agents  attend the inspection. Our inspectors will call the client at the end of the inspection and once payment is received to briefly sum up our findings. In addition, we require that the sellers must also vacate their home during the inspection. In order to comply with CDC guidelines, if they do not have another residence they are welcome to stay in their vehicle, at the premises, during the inspection.

During inspections we will: 

  • Wash hands multiple times during every inspection, especially after touching things like faucets and door handles.
  • Bring hand towels or paper towels for drying our hands. 
  • If available, we’ll keep hand sanitizer nearby and use it when needed.
  • If available, use disinfectant wipes or the equivalent on faucets and door handles.
  • We will not shake hands or bump fists.
  • We will avoid touching our faces.
  • If requested by the seller, our inspector will wear a mask during the inspection.
  • If any of our inspectors have a fever or cough, we will not conduct the inspection.
  • If any of our inspectors have been exposed to COVID-19, we will not conduct the inspection.

Likewise, if anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 21 days, have come in contact with someone who has, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, we kindly ask that you reschedule to a later date:  

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of Breath

Thank you again for trusting Trademark Home Inspection, LLC with your inspection needs and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID-19 Safe Practices