Winters in southeast Michigan can be brutal. While you usually make efforts to protect yourself and your vehicles from the elements, you may forget to keep snow and ice from damaging your home.
Following are several steps you can take to protect your home, yourself, and passersby.
1. Clear and insulate pipes.
One of the basic steps in protecting your Michigan home from snow and ice damage is to drain and insulate pipes. These include outdoor faucets, sprinkler systems, and pipes connected to your garage, attics, and basements. If you don’t, water could freeze and cause pipes to burst, wreaking havoc on your home.
When it comes to outdoor systems you don’t use in the winter, you may want to disconnect the power completely for the season.
2. Avoid heating your attic to prevent ice dams.
Preventing ice dams is one of the most important steps in protecting your home. Ice dams form as a result of freezing and thawing cycles that naturally occur during the winters in Michigan. As a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof, it blocks melting snow from draining off the roof. As a result, it could damage your shingles.
Unless your attic is used as living space, you should avoid heating it. To prevent the creation of ice dams. When you heat the attic, it warms the roof, possibly leading the snow to melt. The melted snow would later refreeze, and this thawing and freezing process could damage your roof and gutters.
As a side note, sealing the attic and not heating it will keep the rest of your home warmer and help you save on heating costs.
3. Watch your roof.
Michigan homes are constructed with sloping roofs for a reason: a flat roof could collapse under the weight of snow. While you don’t want to create an environment where ice freezes on your roof, too much snow can cause your roof to sag. If you hear popping noises, contact a roofing contractor to assist you in removing some of the snow off your roof.
One step you can take to keep snow and ice from damaging your roof is to remove the snow from the edges, as doing so will prevent ice dams and icicles from forming. A long-handled snow rake is an ideal tool to use for this purpose.
4. Trim tree branches.
Weak tree branches can break under the weight of the snow, possibly falling onto someone, your home, or your vehicle. In fact, the entire tree could collapse with a combination of heavy winds, snow, and ice. Pruning the trees will help maintain their structure, and dead trees or branches should be removed completely by a professional contractor.
5. Have a contractor check your heating system, fireplace, and chimney.
Hire a qualified HVAC professional to inspect your HVAC system. An HVAC system that is functioning improperly or not at all could lead to a number of issues, including the freezing of pipes, house fires, and carbon monoxide exposure in the home.
Along these lines, fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected at least once a year for structural integrity and to be cleared of any debris. For the best results and your safety, a professional chimney sweep should do the job for you, which will include cleaning out soot and other debris that could lead to a fire.
Although no home is completely maintenance free, a new construction home can give you added peace of mind. Singh’s homes feature energy-efficient designs, the D.R. Nelson Energy Seal®, and various home warranties, and we only work with the most reputable contractors. Learn more about our new construction homes in Novi, Canton, and South Lyon on our Singh Homes website.