Don’t Let Icy Water Damage Ruin Your Winter

December 31, 2013

The icy fingers of New England’s winter are squeezing ever tighter, which means if you haven’t winterized yet you’d better get cracking. One of the main offenders when it comes to wintertime exterior damage is ice.

You may remember from science class that water expands and contracts as it freezes and thaws – imagine all that expansion and contraction happening in your home’s masonry, in the tiny gaps between windows and walls, and in the siding. Here are some ways you can protect your home’s exterior (and interior) until that last thaw:

Prevent ice dams, aka walls of ice that form at the roof line when interior heat melts snow and ice and the water refreezes at the gutter line forcing runoff inside. Cleaning gutters and/or installing gutter guards will help, as will keeping the attic from getting too toasty.

ice dam

Extend drain spouts, making sure water is being drained at least five feet away from your home’s foundation.

Check that caulk – especially if windows and doors are flush with the façade and there are no overhangs to keep rain and melting water at bay. Make sure there are no gaps in your caulk and that no one has caulked over the “weep holes” that ensure water isn’t trapped in window frames.

Check your interior. Water damage inside could be coming from outside if melted ice and snow are finding their way under siding or shingles.

Follow the water. Ideally, melting snow and ice should be channeled away from the house through the gutters and then via the downspouts away from your house. If this path is interrupted anywhere, water can seep into and then widen the tiniest openings, causing damage when it refreezes.

Not sure where to start? The first step is as easy as walking around your exterior to look for spots where water could accumulate!

This story originally appeared in our monthly newsletter, Prime Time by Jerry Enos Painting company in New England – to subscribe, contact us!

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