During snowy winters, the most vulnerable and dangerous area for a homeowner is the roof. If heavy snow accumulation is not maintainenced properly, it can turn into large amounts of ice buildup which can be detrimental to the home's ceiling, walls and other structural areas, and, at worse, cause the roof to collapse. Preparing for this can be a difficult task, but if you take the right steps, you could avoid vast damage to your home. There are numerous techniques a homeowner can take such as cleaning your gutters, adding insulation to the attic and removing the snow before it freezes. Take these following steps into account, and you'll be a happy camper come spring time.
Remove the Snow From Your Roof ASAP
When the snow on the roof melts, it's usually caused by heat escaping from inside of the home. Water can run down the roof into the gutters and shingles and eventually leak into the house. Some homes with flat roofs don't dispose of moisture very well, leaving them susceptible to roof damage just off of sheer snowfall. Ideally, using a roof rake is recommended because a person can pull snow off their roof while standing on the ground. Walking on a roof with snow isn't the safest endeavor so if you're a little hesitant, it might be best to hire a professional.
Clean Your Gutters
During the Fall, leaves and other debris can build up inside of the gutters, blocking the channel to which water can run. This can cause damage to your roof, foundation and basement. This risk is amplified when you factor in ice and snow and if frozen can cause supreme damage to your home. Use ice melt or salt if there's ice buildup in the gutters. For best results, clean your gutters bi-annually.
Don't Forget to Cap the Hatch in Your Attic
An attic's access, such as pull-down stairs or an attic hatch, is rarely insulated. This creates a massive hole for heat to escape, make indoor living uncomfortable and leaks energy dollars. Install foil foam-based weatherstripped caps and aluminum tape to prevent any loss of heat. You can also add a latch bolt for a tighter seal.
Make Sure That There is Insulation in Your Home
Adding insulation keeps the heat where it belongs in the winter: inside. You're required to have about 12 to 14 inches of fiberglass of insulation in your attic but if a home has had ice dam issues in the past, you can add up to 8 inches which is certainly enough to keep your CT roof warmer. Just make sure that there's no paper backing on the new insulation if you're adding it to the current insulation.
Adding Roof and Soffit Vents
With attic ventilation, you bring in cold air while flushing out the warm attic heat, causing the roof and attic to cool. The entire process can be a bit complex especially determining where the new vents should go in conjunction with your pre-existing ones, but in short, you want to put an 8 x 16-inch vent in the underside of the soffit in every other rafter. Then install a ridge vent at the top of the roof. Some roofs are very difficult to vent so hire a professional if it seems too strenuous. However, it's a great investment and one that requires minimal maintenance in the following years.