How To Guard Your Home Against the Effects of the Polar Vortex

January 9, 2014

Who would have thought we'd be experiencing a "Polar Vortex!" Sounds like something out of a science fiction movie meets the abominable snowman. While we don't suggest you go outside with a pot of boiling water and throw it in the air to see if it crystalizes, we do have some good advice on a few things this cold weather may be doing to your home. Ice Dams - Ice dams are ridges of ice that form on the edge of your roof preventing snow melt, due to heat escaping through the attic, from running off the roof. This confined water can then leak into homes damaging walls, ceilings and insulation. The best plan of attack is using a snow rake to remove snow, but take extra care not to damage the roof in the process. Keep yourself out of harms way and avoid getting on your roof to remove snow. Cold Weather Plumbing Issues - With freezing temperatures, there is also a threat of frozen pipes. One of the easiest ways to prevent this is to allow cold water to trickle from your pipes. Moving water does not freeze. Outdoor hoses can cause pressure buildup in your water lines. An easy fix is to disconnect outdoor hoses and place an insulated faucet jacket on the hoes bib. Dealing With Ice On Walkways and Steps - There are many techniques people use from sand to kitty litter to help give traction on rough surfaces and keep people from slipping on ice in front of their homes. The best course of action is to get out there early and shovel as much of the snow as possible and then sprinkle a little sand on the walkways. If you didn't catch it before it got icy, snowmelt with calcium magnesium acetate is considered the most environmentally friendly way to de-ice, and is a better choice than its more corrosive counterparts - salt and fertilizer. After the snow and ice melt away, make sure you sweep away any ice melt or rock salt that could damage your concrete. Just a few smart choices and the Polar Vortex will pass right over your home and leave you alone.
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