Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about ways you can protect your home from winter’s wrath. In Michigan where freezing weather is common, that means taking steps to prevent ice dams and frozen pipes. Ice dams occur when ice accumulates at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. Once an ice dam forms, the potential water damage can be serious. Frozen water in pipes can cause water pressure buildup between the ice blockage and the closed faucet at the end of the pipe, which leads to pipes bursting at their weakest point. Pipes in crawl spaces, attics and outside walls are particularly vulnerable. Take these steps now to avoid trouble later:
Keep the attic well ventilated. The colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on the roof.
Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house. This two-step approach decreases the likelihood that ice dams will form or, at least, reduces their size.
Fit exposed pipes with insulation sleeves.
Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.