The weather outside presents a number of potential risks to our homes and other structures, and this is especially true during the harsh winter period each year. From freezing temperatures to risks like snow, ice and more, there are a number of risks to your home’s exterior each winter – but with the right basic approaches, you can keep your structure protected through the cold part of the year.
At Becker’s, we’re here to help. We provide products and services in several major exterior home areas, including home roofing, home siding, rain gutters and more. Let’s look at some of the key risks your home may face this winter, plus how the right attention from both homeowners and professionals like ours will ensure both you and the structure stay protected all season long.
Roofs and Ice Dams
A notable and common problem during winter is the formation of ice dams. As snow melts off your roof, it can re-freeze in the eaves, forming a barrier that keeps future water from draining properly. Ice dams can lead to serious water damage if ignored for too long.
To prevent this, make sure you clear away any debris and leaves from your gutters and downspouts, as they can contribute to forming ice dams. Additionally, you may want to invest in insulation and ventilation products that help keep your roof cooler, reducing the risk of ice dams altogether.
In some cases, the quality of your roof and gutters may play a role in the risk of ice dams. If your gutters are outdated or need repairs, for instance, you may want to consider investing in them now before winter weather sets in.
Siding and Snow
The snow that accumulates on your home’s siding can be more than just an eyesore – it can also cause damage over time if left untreated. Snow and ice can wear down your siding, as well as cause staining or even water damage if allowed to sit for extended periods.
The best way to prevent this is to regularly remove snow from your siding when conditions permit. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, a professional like Becker’s can provide services that ensure your siding is snow-free all winter long.
Melting Ice/Snow – and Foundation Damage
Another major risk your home may face this winter is the potential for water damage due to melting snow and ice. Water seepage can wreak havoc on basement walls and foundations, leading to serious damage that’s costly to repair.
To protect against such risks, you can use products like de-icing cables or foundation wraps that melt away the snow before this can happen. More importantly, though, you should be paying close attention to gutters and downspouts, ensuring they’re clear of debris and properly draining away from your foundation. Foundation flooding is often caused by gutters that direct water straight to the base of the home, and this is an easy fix in most cases.
Frozen or Burst Pipes
While pipes themselves exist inside your structure and not on its exterior, the risk of frozen or burst pipes is still one to consider during winter months – in part because what’s happening outside your home will often impact what’s happening within your walls.
Insulating and protecting any exposed pipes is the best way to reduce the risk of freezing or bursting, though you’ll also want to pay attention to both interior and exterior temperatures. If it’s too cold inside, for instance, there may be a need for additional insulation or even heating sources in order to keep the structure warm and pipes safe.
Snow’s Weight on Branches
For homes that have large trees around them, it’s also important to pay attention to the weight of snow on their branches. During larger storms, too much accumulation can cause weak or dead tree limbs to snap off and damage your home.
To avoid this problem, regularly inspect trees that are close by your home during winter months – if you see any broken branches or other signs of damage, it’s best to remove them before they become a problem.
Snow and Ice on Garage Doors
Another issue to consider is the weight of snow and ice on garage doors. As with anything else, too much accumulation can cause serious strain on the door itself – potentially leading to a collapse. To prevent this from happening, regularly clear away any build-up and ensure your door opener is working properly before opening or closing it.
This is one area where having quality siding already in place can help – insulated siding is better at preventing ice and snow from sticking to the structure, reducing strain on the door in the process.
Concrete and Moisture Damage
One area that’s related to the foundation damage risk we went over above is the potential for concrete damage or changes in your home’s structure due to moisture levels. As snow melts and refreezes, it can create a lot of moisture – which over time can cause cracks, crumbling or even water seepage through foundations and other areas of your home.
To protect against this risk, gutters are once again the primary line of defense. Ensuring they’re clear and free of anything that can cause blockages – and that their downspouts direct water far away from your concrete surfaces – is essential if you want to avoid water damage during winter months.
For more on how to prevent damage to your home’s exterior this winter, or to learn about any of our roofing, siding or other exterior home services, speak to our team at Becker’s today.