Protecting Your Gutters For the Winter in New Richmond

Winter is here and if you live in New Richmond, Wisconsin or the surrounding area that means plenty of snow and cold weather. Have you prepared your gutters for winter? A little ice, snow, and wind can wreak havoc on your gutters as they function as the first line of defense for your home. Without proper winterization, your gutters can clog, sag and crack creating problems inside your home when the ice begins to melt in the spring. Here are some tips to help you winterize your home and protect your gutters from ice damage.

When twigs and leaves clog gutters during winter, rainwater and melting snow can overflow, entering your attic and freezing on the ground. The water creates a slipping hazard and water damage to your home. Before winter begins, remove all of the debris from your gutters. To clean your gutters first remove large objects with a spade or wear gloves and remove them by hand. Next, check the slope of your gutter system. Make sure it is correctly positioned to move water toward your downspouts. Finally, make sure downspouts are directed away from your home’s foundation to ensure water does not enter your basement.

Leaves can continue to fall into your gutters even after the winter begins. Reduce risk by trimming back any tree branches near your roof. Snow and ice can also cause weakened limbs to snap and damage your home’s roof and gutters. Removing overhanging limbs can reduce risk.

In winter, water can freeze in your gutters creating ice dams. The dams can cause ice and snow to accumulate and can result in severe water damage to your home in spring. Have a professional install heat tape or an electric heating cable to your gutters. These cables produce a lot of heat and if not installed properly can cause significant damage.That is why it’s a job best left to professionals.

If you have an area where more ice and snow accumulates, create a de-icing barrier. Simply fill an old pair of pantyhose with calcium chloride and lay them across the roof. The chemicals will melt snow and ice, and the water will flow away, preventing sagging gutters and broken hinges.

Proper gutter cleaning and winterization can protect your home from damage all winter long. The best course of action is to call a professional to winterize your home. If you live in New Richmond, Wisconsin and the surrounding communities give All Exteriors LLC a call. Let us help you prepare your home for winter, quickly and affordably!

How to Remove Ice Dams on Your Roof

If you live in a climate that experiences long, cold winters like Wisconsin and Minnesota, ice dams can be a problem. While we all love the beauty of icicles hanging down from the eaves of our home creating that picture-perfect winter landscape, the fact is ice can wreak havoc if not addressed.

Ice dams are thick mounds of ice that build up along your home’s eaves. They can loosen shingles, tear off gutters, and cause water to back up and enter your home. This can result in serious damage that can be expensive to repair.

How Ice Dams Form

Ice dams form when heat from the roof melts the base of the snow on the roof. The water travels between the snow and your roof shingles until it reaches your gutters, which are cold because they extend beyond the exterior walls of your home. There, the water re-freezes, gradually growing into a mound of ice.

The flatter your roof, the easier it is for an ice dam to form and grow. If the snow and ice build up in your gutters, it can cause an ice dam to form.

How To Remove Ice Dams From Your Roof

Removing an ice dam is best accomplished by breaking it free in small pieces. It is best to have them steamed off of the home to prevent damage to your roof. This is slow and dangerous work, and is best done by an experienced professional like the experts at All Exteriors Home Improvement & Outdoor Living. Then it is suggested to get an estimate from All Exteriors for proper insulation and ventilation to help prevent the ice dams from forming again.

Prevention

Of course, the ideal situation is to prevent ice dams from forming in the first place. This is best accomplished by addressing your home’s roofing system.

A professional roofer can seal all points where warm air enters from your living space immediately below the roof sheathing. Keeping your living space well-insulated can prevent conduction and convection of heat through the ceiling. Venting the roof to remove any heat that does leak is the final step.

Taking these steps will not only prevent ice dams, it will eliminate a significant loss of heat from your home. Truly a win-win solution!

How to Winterize Your Windows to Prepare for a Midwest Winter

The Midwest winter can be harsh. Here in Minnesota and Wisconsin we can see lots of snow, ice and freezing-cold winds that can take a real toll on your home if you’re not prepared!

Energy costs are unpredictable and if your home isn’t properly winterized, you can be hit with big bills. If you live in an older home with single-pane windows or have even the smallest gaps or spaces around windows and doors, you could be spending hundreds of dollars more than you need to every winter.

It’s not difficult to winterize windows and a little time spent before the winter snows hit can keep you warm … and lower your energy costs. Let’s examine how to winterize your windows to prepare your home for the coming Midwest winter.

How to Winterize Windows

There are several effective window insulation techniques. Often the best solution is to combine a couple to maximize efficiency and achieve lower energy costs. Here are some to consider:

Storm Windows

If you have older single-pane windows, storm windows are a relatively inexpensive way to add some protec tion. While they don’t provide window insulation, they do prevent air movement through single pane windows.

Thermal Window Treatment

This is another low-cost fix and they look better than putting plastic over the windows! Heavy, thermal-lined, floor- or sill-length drapes can keep the cold air at bay. To make them even more effective, consider adding Velcro to window frames and places where they overlap for a better seal.

Window Replacement

With replacement windows from All Exteriors, you can save energy by replacing your old windows with the latest state-of-the-art window technology designed to help keep your home cool in summer and warm in the winter.

While it’s possible to do the work yourself, often the best solution is to hire a professional. The money you save heating your home this winter will help defray any costs if windows are drafty and cold. Contact All Exteriors today so that you’re best prepared for a Midwest winter!