People flock from all over the country to experience Colorado’s incredible ski and snow resorts. People report moving here for the snow totals alone up in the mountains. But occasionally that heavy snowfall from the mountains makes its way down to the Denver-Metro area. While we all expect to have to shovel sidewalks and driveways after a regular snow, large snow totals call for a more thorough approach to protect your home. This article is dedicated to teaching people how to prepare your home for heavy snow. If you have any questions about these tips or need help with existing damage to your home, please give us a call or fill out our contact form. Follow this link to check your local weather forecast.
OVERVIEW – 8 STEPS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR HEAVY SNOW
- Repair Damaged Roofing
- Buy A Roof Rake
- Clean Gutters and Downspouts
- Install Heat Cables
- Replace Old Caulking
- Trim Your Trees
- Upgrade Attic Insulation and Ventilation
- Clear Paths To Key Areas
REPAIR DAMAGED ROOFING
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for heavy snow in Colorado is to make sure your roof is in top shape. Missing or damaged shingles, cracked roofing tiles, damaged roof flashing all create their own issues on a regular day. Under heavy snow, each creates a place for water and moisture to enter the home. This moisture can weaken the integrity of your roof and even get into your home and begin growing harmful mold. Roofing repair, especially during the winter can save you from having to replace your roof or much worse.
BUY A ROOF RAKE
Roof Rakes allow homeowners to remove snow from their roof safely. They have a telescoping pole that keeps homeowners from climbing on their roof during slippery conditions. The best roof rakes are plastic and utilize rollers to allow the rake to gradually remove the snow from your roof. Metal rakes with sharp edges can damage shingles and remove their protective granules, actually causing more harm than good. They are a great tool for preventing ice dams from building up which prevent water from draining off your roof.
ENSURE PROPER DRAINAGE
Over time, the soil around your foundation can settle and allow water and snow to build up. This condensation creates bigger problems over time because it can crack your foundation. Homeowners easily avoid this issue by searching around their homes for low spots and filling them in with more dirt to ensure moisture slopes away from the home. Also, ensure your gutter downspouts keep the soil around your foundation as dry as possible.
CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS
Trees shed their remaining leaves in the fall and many homeowners forget to clean their gutters after the last of these leaves drop. Clogged gutters cause water to overflow and end up in undesirable places as the snow melts. They also don’t allow water to exit the roof quickly in the cold causing buildups which turn into ice dams. This causes your roof to retain water which backs up and leaks into walls, ceilings, and insulation. To clean your gutters, remove all debris from them and flush them out with a hose. Make sure to disconnect your hose from your house when you’re done to protect your pipes!
INSTALL HEAT CABLES
Heat cables can be installed in strategic places on your roof to help melt snow as it falls. They are designed to prevent ice dams from forming by allowing your roof to quickly remove moisture. Homeowners even install heat cables in their gutters and downspouts. This prevents the water from freezing in the gutters, allowing a clear flowing path away from the home.
REPLACE OLD CAULKING
Caulking is designed to protect the seams in your home from moisture intrusion. As it ages, especially in the harsh Colorado sunshine and freezing temperatures, it cracks. Once the caulking gets cracks in it, it’s no longer waterproof and protecting vital areas of your home. Check the caulking around your windows, doors, and skylights. Fixing caulking is a simple and cheap fix that can save you thousands of dollars in damage down the road. Not only that, new caulking looks great and adds a finishing touch throughout the home!
TRIM YOUR TREES
During the winter your trees will have dropped their leaves and mid-winter snow is unlikely to break a tree limb. However, as we get nearer to spring and leaves begin returning, they offer more surface area for snow to cling. More snow on the trees, combined with the weight of heavy snow can cause these limbs to break and cause damage to surrounding property such as fences, decks, patios, and roofs. In order to prevent this from happening, trim your dead branches from your trees.
UPGRADE ATTIC INSULATION AND VENTILATION
Improving the insulation in the attic provides a myriad of benefits for homeowners in Colorado. Insulation in the attic is designed to keep the heat in the home and prevent heat from being lost through the roof. Proper attic insulation will not only help homeowners save on heating costs in the colder months, it will also help prevent ice dams from forming.
CLEAR PATHS TO KEY AREAS
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to prepare your home for heavy snow, life happens. Take the extra step of laying down ice melt and keeping walkways clear around key areas in your home. Keep the pathway to your electrical box clear in case a breaker trips from the added space heater you needed. Keep the access to the garage cleared in case you need to grab a tool for a quick repair. Make sure to keep your Roof Rake and snow shovel handy!
In addition to providing these tips about how to prepare your home for heavy snow, Palace Restoration also specializes in mitigation, remediation, and reconstruction for: