Ice Damage Can be Expensive!
In Northern Illinois we are known for our harsh winters and occasional ice storms! During winter months, if you do not take a few proactive steps, your home can experience ice damage due to subzero weather conditions.
You don’t want to find out the hard way how expensive it is to repair ice damage. The good news is that most ice damage can easily be prevented with just a little forethought and maintenance.
Let’s get to some solutions to help avoid ice damage costs!
PROBLEM: Windows Condensation
Caused by old windows, lack of weatherstripping or poor insulation around windows.
Humidity levels are the main culprit here! Especially in newer homes that are sealed tight.
- Check caulk and weatherstripping and replace where necessary.
- Purchase a hygrometer to monitor your humidity levels. Check that your humidifier is set no higher than the recommended range of 30-50 percent.
- If your bathroom has windows, open windows and doors as soon as you can to diminish the humidity.
- Run exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms during their use to keep moisture in check.
- Keep all internal doors open for even heat distribution within your home.
- Check that your dryer vent is properly venting to the outside of your home. If not, this could cause increased humidity within your home.
PROBLEM: Gutter Ice Jams
Can cause shingles to rise and your roof to leak. In addition the melting water can backup and cause leaks from your roof and within your walls.
Clear out your gutters each fall. As snow falls use an ice rake and clear snow off your roof. If you already have an ice jam there are heated cables for this purpose or you can fill pantyhose with calcium chloride and lay it vertical to the ice jam and hang it over the gutter. This approach will create a channel for the melted ice to follow off your roof.
PROBLEM: Burst Pipes
Insulate all your outside faucets before freezing temperatures arrive. When temperatures do dip below freezing, for all the internal faucets on an outside wall of your home, open cabinet doors to allow the room temperature in. Also let them drip to help prevent freezing. If you have multiple faucets alternate between a cold and warm water drip.
Do not lower your thermostat below 64 degrees. Lower than 64 degrees could increase the risk of the pipes within your walls becoming vulnerable to freezing. On sunny days, use that opportunity to open your curtains and blinds to take advantage of that natural heat source to help keep your home, and walls, warm and cozy.
PROBLEM: Trees and Tree Branches that weaken with ice.
Trim back any dead or damaged branches. Do an annual cut-back on the trees closest to your home.
There’s still time!
Winter isn’t over — you can still implement these tips to minimize your risk and protect your home. By addressing the above issues you can help to avoid unnecessary damage and repairs to your Lake County, Illinois or Kenosha County, Wisconsin new home!
We cannot control the weather, but for the most part we can control our preventative plan and put steps in place to minimize any future ice damage.