Winter’s the time for staying cozy and warm indoors, but unfortunately, it’s also when your house can experience some unpleasant problems. Snow and freezing temperatures can stress your house and its systems and drive things indoors that should be kept out.
Ice dams on the roof are probably the biggest cause of winter roof leaks. As ice and snow accumulate on your roof and slide down toward your gutters, it creates a dam that collects melted water that can damage roof shingles and allow water to leak through tiny cracks. You may notice signs of water leaks on your ceiling, such as discoloration or sagging.
Damage can be serious and expensive, so it’s important to take measures to prevent ice damming. Using a shovel to remove snow and ice is sometimes possible but can be dangerous. Better choices might be to use heated cables or an ice melt product.
When it gets chilly outside, pests might seek shelter in your house. The most common are various types of bugs, especially spiders, as well as rodents and small mammals, including mice, rats, and bats. Many pests are enticed indoors because they are seeking easy sources of food. You can prevent ant infestations by keeping food in sealed containers.
If you store pet food in a garage or shed, be sure to keep bags in tight containers, also. Kibble will not only attract rodents, but also squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and even skunks.
Extreme winter temperatures can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Since water expands when it freezes, it sometimes causes pipes to crack or burst open. A rush of water or leak from the pipes can cause significant damage to floors, walls, and foundations.
Installing additional insulation in walls and floors is a long-term solution, but you can also buy special insulating pipe wrap or heat tape. Apply the wrap to pipes most likely to be exposed to freezing, such as those in the garage, basement, crawlspace, or attic. On nights when frigid temperatures are predicted, consider leaving some faucets dripping. When water keeps flowing, it is less likely to freeze.
In winter, your home should be a refuge from the season’s worst weather. But you don’t want to share your sanctuary with unwanted pests or problems. To protect your home and yourself, it’s best to be prepared.
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