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Don't be left out in the cold, avoiding winter related home issues

(Published on - 12/2/2016 4:06:11 PM)

Is your home winter ready? Prolonged low temperatures, combined with winter moisture can cause issues for the interior and exterior of your home. Below are some common problems caused by winter weather and how to potentially avoid them.

Frozen Pipes 

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. Pipes that freeze most easily are those exposed to severe cold, like outside ose bibbs, water lines for swimming pools, sprinkler system lines as well as pipes that run against exterior walls that have little to now insulation. Closing inside valves that supply outdoor bibbs as well as draining water lines can be extremely helpful in preventing pipes from bursting. Insulating water pipes with a "pipe sleeve" will also provide a degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes.

Mold Growth

Mold spores are all around us, but mold growth can be prevented. In order to grow, mold needs moisture, warmth and food. During the cold season, make sure the humidity levels indoors are not excessive. Using a humidifier can create an environment that foster spore growth. Cleaning and regularly vacuuming assist in removing sources of possible mold growth. Making sure that exhaust fans are properly working and correctly vented are key in keeping moisture levels, especially the kitchen and bathroom in check.

Roof Leaks, Ice Damns

Small gaps between roofing materials can turn into major problems when extreme temperatures cause expansion and contraction. To prevent an ice dam from forming, the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine ?recommend making sure any gaps in the roof or attic that allow hot air to escape from your home are tightly sealed and closed. During warmer weather, look out for water staining, loose shingles, missing caulk, or nails that extend into an attic space. Cleaning your gutters and breaking up piles of ice that begin to form on your roof will also help prevent ice dams. Call a handyman or add these tasks to your to-do list to save yourself from major headaches later.

Chimney Issues

There is nothing more comforting than a warm fire on a cold winters day. However, not properly maintaining your chimney can have disasterous consquences. The Chimney Safety Institute of America says creosote (a highly flamable material) is formed when smoke, water vapor, gases, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbon, tar fog, and assorted minerals leave the fireplace and flow up into the cold chimney. Keeping your chimney maintained and regularly cleaned before burning season will help keep family gatherings around the fire safe. 

 

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