Protect Your Home Against Extreme Winter Weather
The mild December weather in Chicago was too good to be true and the brutal winter we know and love is back and stronger than ever.
Heavy storms can leave your home wind whipped and buried in snow. Chicago homeowners know from learning the hard way how much damage winter can bring, but its important to continue to stay prepared should a winter emergency leave you in the dark, without heat, or facing serious reconstruction.
The experts at Forest Glen Construction have compiled the following list of common winter home ailments, as well as tips to keep you and your home safe through the worst of Chicago's winter storms.
Ice dams occur when snow or ice in your gutter system melts during the day while the sun is out and re-freezes at night when temperatures drop. Icicles might form indicating there are likely pools of melted water accumulating in your gutters forcing back toward the roof seeping under shingles and potentially causing leaks in your ceilings and walls.
To prevent ice dams, avoid letting heat reach the roof through proper insulation and ventilation in your home's attic space. This will keep the temperature at the top of your house similar to that of outside temperatures, avoiding snow melt on your roof and the formation of ice dams. Install ridge or soffit vents for a heat escape route and consult a professional about icreasing the level of floor insulation if you have a finished attic space.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding insulation to an unheated attic will reduce your winter heating bill and trim your summer cooling bills.
Insulate pipes that might be exposed to winter elements or in unheated areas like your attic or crawl space. Wrap insulation around your pipes to prevent freezing or bursting. Make sure you are able to identify where the shut-off valves are, so you can quickly turn off the water in case of a leak.
Stock up on supplies when a winter storm is on the way. Keep a shovel handy and a bag of salt for your walkway for increased traction. Make sure you have enough fuel to heat your home and keep a backup generator in case of a power outage. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights, extra blankets, warm clothing and basics like water and food in case winter weather keeps you locked indoors for a few days at a time.
Home Owner Tip: Avoid winter home damage by calling the professionals at Forest Glen to conduct an assessment of your home insulation. Forest Glen Construction works with local, well-qualified trade professionals to help solve winter home issues for our customers. If you are interested in more information, please call 847-236-0895 for a winter home assessment.
Original content created with help from The Federal Emergency Management Agency and The U.S. Department of Energy. Image source: KTIV.com