Winter is an exciting time with ice skating, sledding, skiing, snowball fights, and other fun activities. However, it is also a terrifying time. Many dangerous car accidents happen due to slippery conditions caused by snow and black ice, people often strain their backs and shoulders from shoveling snow, and many injuries are sustained by slipping on the ice. Your home is also not impervious to the winter chill. The winter weather can cause expensive and treacherous damage to your home. Read on for the six most common household problems due to the winter weather.
Snow and Ice Buildup on Roof
During the winter, heavy snow storms cause snow and ice to build up on your roof. The weight of the snow is enough to potentially cause your roof to collapse and to destroy your shingles. These problems, naturally, can lead to a whole slew of issues, like leaking roofs, mildew buildup in your attic, leaks in the flashing of your windows, doors and roof, damage to your gutters, and dangerous runoff when the ice and snow melt. All of these problems need to be fixed as soon as possible before they become more dangerous. However, do not attempt to clear your own roof, as you can damage the shingles if you do not have the proper tools.
There are many different problems that the winter can have on your plumbing, and most of them come from frozen pipes. The most obvious problem is that you will not get the proper waterflow that you need in your home, but other problems can ensue, like leakage or breaks, and property damage. Signs of frozen pipes include: restricted water flow, freezing temperatures, and frost under the sink.
If your pipes are frozen, you need to take care of them as soon as possible before they bursts and causes more damage. If a pipe breaks, it will leak into the surrounding area, and potentially can cause extensive property damage. It will also rack up your water bill.
The most common cause of frozen pipes is leaving your garden hose connected for too long. The ice in the hose will build up pressure, backing up other pipes in your home. Make sure that you properly drain all outside water lines and disconnect your hoses before it freezes each year. However, if you did not do so in the fall, it may not be too late to protect your home from frozen pipes.
Garage Doors Fail to Operate Properly
According to this blog, the most common winter garage door problems are: garage doors that are frozen to the ground, broken springs, contracting metals, and lubrication problems. The cold weather causes garage doors to operate ineffectively. Problems like contracting metal and lubrication problems are simple and inexpensive to fix, while frozen garage doors and broken springs are a bit more complicated.
Contracting metal is a problem that cannot really be fixed, the nature of metal is to shrink in cold weather. However, you can help your garage door by keeping it properly lubricated. Lubrication can become thick in the winter time, so make sure that you use grease that is rated for cold weather. Also, be careful not to use too much grease on your garage door, as it can cause parts to slip out of place.
The two more difficult problems to solve are broken springs and frozen doors. If your springs break— which they are more likely to break in the winter due to the freezing temperatures— do not attempt the repair yourself. Call a garage door professional to take care of the problem. If your garage is frozen to the ground, try using salt water or rock salt to melt the ice. Do not chip away at the frozen garage or continuously press the button as you can tear the weather stripping, making it more likely to freeze again in the future.
Insufficient Heating Systems
Many homes, especially those that are a bit older, have insufficient heating systems. This is not normally caused by a faulty heater, rather escaping heat through cracks and crevices in the home. This can cause your heating bill, and your energy, to go through the roof. Up to 40% of your heat loss can escape through the roof. Insulate your attic to prevent radiant heat from escaping through to top of your home. Additionally, 20% of heat loss can come from uninsulated windows. Get double paned glass, or if you don’t have the funds to replace all the windows in your home, insulate your windows with plastic weather insulation or block out curtains.