Winter brings a myriad of wonderful things, but it can also wreak havoc on your home. Make sure your home is ready to face the cold and winter storms so you can relax and enjoy the season.

 

Preparing for Winter Weather

 

There are many factors to consider when preparing your home for winter. You’ll need to protect your family’s health and safety while saving money wherever possible. Winter always brings surprises, but preparing your home early will ensure it’s in the best possible condition to face the plunging temperatures and winter storms. Be sure to consider several areas as you get ready for winter weather.

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 Windows

Winterizing your home includes making sure heat stays in and cold stays out. Sealing windows with caulk can be the quickest and easiest way to eliminate drafts. Another main struggle in the winter is managing moisture and humidity levels in the home. Condensation forms on windows in the winter, which can lead to mold, mildew, and rot. Reducing moisture levels in your home by running exhaust fans when cooking or bathing, keeping vents open in all rooms of your home, and limiting use of humidifiers can help prevent condensation.
  
 

Roof

Your roof is very important to watch, especially in the winter months. If you’re not sure whether your roof is strong enough to hold the weight of snow and ice, call a professional to inspect it so you know whether you’ll need to remove snow from your roof. Because replacing your roof in the winter can be difficult, it’s important to ensure that it’s in the best condition possible before winter sets in.
  
 

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency options for your home, such as energy-efficient windows and siding, will save you money on utility bills and keep your home warmer in the winter. If you’re considering upgrades to your home, energy-saving replacements can help put your home in great shape for winter.
  
 

Safety

Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to our homes and loved ones, but winter is an especially important time to put safety first. Pre-winter inspections of your furnace and chimney, if you have one, will help protect your home and family from fire and carbon monoxide dangers during these winter months.
 
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PROTECTING YOUR HOME DURING WINTER

 

Winter weather brings with it specific moisture problems. As the temperature drops, keep an eye out for these potential issues:

ICE DAMS

Ice dams are layers of ice that form at the edge of a roof. They grow as water melts and refreezes over and over again on top of it, literally forming a dam that continually builds on itself. By preventing water from properly draining off your roof, ice dams put your home at risk of water damage.
  

Ice Dam Prevention

To prevent ice dams, you should ensure proper attic ventilation, stop air leaks that allow warm air to rise up from the living space, and add insulation in your attic as necessary. Where warm air rises to your roof, snow and ice melt. When the water reaches the edge of the roof, it cools and can re-freeze. Finding air leaks in the attic can be difficult and may require the help of a professional.

If you have recurring problems with ice dams, heat cables can help prevent ice from forming on your roof in the first place. They heat areas on your roof that are susceptible to ice buildup and allow water to flow freely to the gutter system. Heat cables have advantages and disadvantages: they are a low-cost solution, but they don’t address the underlying problem of attic warmth and moisture.
  

Ice Dam Repair

Improper removal of ice dams can cause even more damage to your home. Calling a professional is the best option if you notice this is a problem. If you have had recurring ice dam issues that have caused extensive damage to your roof, roof replacement may be necessary in addition to the preventive steps mentioned above.
 
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Roof Leaks & Attic Condensation

 
 

Identifying Condensation in the Attic

When the temperature drops, frost can accumulate in your attic. When the frost melts, it can leave water marks on ceilings and walls, making it look like you have a roof leak. If you notice water stains like these in your home and can’t identify any exterior damage, then condensation is a likely culprit.
  
 

Attic Condensation Prevention & Repair

To prevent condensation in the attic, take the same steps as described above for preventing condensation on your windows. Keeping all the air vents open and using your exhaust fans helps remove the moisture generated by cooking and bathing, reducing the potential for condensation.
  
 

Identifying a Roof Leak

When a roof leaks, it will often cause water to pool above the ceiling. If you see signs of this, it’s more likely to be a leak. Regardless of whether water infiltration is a result of a leak or condensation, it’s best to call a professional to inspect it. Leaks and condensation can both lead to mold or ceiling collapse.
  
 

Roof Leak Prevention & Repair

A roof leak is almost always a surprise. If your roof is suddenly leaking, don’t panic. Taking steps to minimize the damage is your best immediate course of action. If it’s clear that the leak is spreading, you can poke a small hole to let the water drain and prevent your ceiling from collapsing. You can apply roofing tape or caulk to any holes in your attic as a temporary solution until a professional can come and repair or replace your roof. Sometimes, if a leak is caused by a defect in materials or workmanship, a repair may be covered by either a manufacturer’s or installer’s warranty.
 
Calling a professional to repair a leak is the best way to make sure it’s done correctly and your home is protected from further damage, and regular professional inspections, especially after heavy storms, will help prevent leaks from occurring in the first place. With winter well on its way, it’s time to prepare your home for any weather that comes with it. If you need an inspection or repair in Central Iowa, contact Hedrick Construction! We’ll make sure your home is ready to face the winter.
 

 
 
Calling a professional to repair a leak is the best way to make sure it’s done correctly and your home is protected from further damage, and regular professional inspections, especially after heavy storms, will help prevent leaks from occurring in the first place. With winter well on its way, it’s time to prepare your home for any weather that comes with it. If you need an inspection or repair in Central Iowa, contact Hedrick Construction! We’ll make sure your home is ready to face the winter.

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