When Mother Nature decides to drop the temperatures, it can be unpleasant for homeowners and our homes. Two common things you may notice are ice dams forming and condensation around some of your windows. If you have noticed one of these things going on at your home, you aren't the only one. Here are a few things to know, and a some tips on how to handle it.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
1) Rake snow off off roof (first few feet)
2) Carefully break off Ice with rubber mallet
3) Use Ice Melt (do not use salt)
4) Check problem areas after each snowfall
Homes these days are tightly sealed. When winter sets in, most people head indoors and avoid the cold air as much as possible. This can cause a build-up of moist air, causing your windows to "sweat" during the colder months.
Condensation occurs when warm air (hello vent under the window) hits cold surfaces. Breathing, Cooking, and drying clothes are all things that can contribute to the moisture in the air. The good news is you likely don't need new windows; the bad news is that condensation can cause mild and mildew. Here are a few tips:
1) Use your fans in the kitchen and bathrooms
2) Occassionally crack windows to allow air flow
3) Remove plants from windows
4) Lower your thermostate a couple of degrees
5) Do NOT lower your window coverings all the way down (this will trap the moisture)
6) Use your ceiling fans and make sure they are running in a clockwise direction this time of year