Keep the spring thaw out­side where it be­longs

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Af­ter win­ter’s long deep freeze, most of us look for­ward to warmer spring weather and longer hours of sun­shine. But not all as­pects of spring are as pleas­ant. Melt­ing snow can spell trou­ble, lead­ing to leaky roofs and ice build-up.

“The spring thaw can be de­struc­tive to per­sonal prop­erty,” says Ryan Michel, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and chief risk of­fi­cer at All­state Canada.“We rec­om­mend that home­own­ers take ex­tra care this sea­son to pre­vent dam­ag­ing ice for­ma­tions and leaks. Melt­ing snow can cre­ate ice dams that can tear off gut­ters, lift shin­gles, and lead leaks di­rectly into your home.”

Ice dams can form on your eave­stroughs or on the lower edge of a home’s roof, Michel points out. When the tem­per­a­ture in your at­tic is above freez­ing, it melts the snow on your shin­gles. The wa­ter trick­les down to a cooler part of the roof where it freezes, usu­ally on the eave­stroughs and the roof over­hang. Even­tu­ally, a build-up of ice forms – an ice dam – and be­gins to leak be­neath the shin­gles and then into your home. One of the big­gest warn­ing signs of ice damming is the for­ma­tion of large ici­cles that hang from the roof.

If left unchecked, leaks caused by ice dams can harm your roof and shin­gles, dam­age in­su­la­tion and in­te­rior walls and can even com­pro­mise your home’s struc­tural in­tegrity.

Here are a few tips to pre­vent ice dams from form­ing and dam­ag­ing your home:

1. Clear leaves and other de­bris from eave­stroughs and down­spouts.

2. Prop­erly in­su­late ar­eas in your at­tic that lose heat. This in­cludes wrap­ping and in­su­lat­ing heat­ing ducts.

3. Make sure your at­tic is prop­erly ven­ti­lated un­der the roof deck.

4. If safe, clear new snow­fall from gut­ters us­ing a snow rake or broom. Never at­tempt to go onto the roof as slip­pery con­di­tions can be danger­ous. Al­ways hire a pro­fes­sional to in­spect and re­pair your roof.

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