Snowpocalypse 2014: The Aftermath

I hope you all made it through the last three days of snow, more snow, cold and more cold unscathed and with your furnace running and cars starting.

With the forecast for temperatures above freezing and rain this weekend, the roads may be safer but we need to look out for two threats to our homes, Water Backup and Ice Dams.

With frozen ground, melting snow, and rain, your sump pump is probably going to be working overtime this weekend.  Take a minute now to check that your pump is in working order.  All you need to do is lift the float arm and make sure that the pump turns on.

You should also take a moment to check that your homeowner or renter’s policy includes water backup coverage. This optional coverage provides for cleanup and damage to property as a result of a failed sump pump or other drainage or sewage system backup.  If you’re not sure if you have the coverage, give us a call or email and we’ll check it out for you.

If your house looks like this, you’re at risk for ice dam water damage:

Ice_dam_slate_roof

 

An ice dam occurs when ice builds up in and above your gutters, trapping water that runs off the roof and, at worst, forcing the runoff under the shingles and into the house.  The risk of damage can be reduced through better attic insulation and ventilation.  But, it’s too late for that now.   If your gutters have dammed up,  you shouldn’t try to break the ice dam up or pry it off, as you may cause damage to your roof and/or gutters in the process.  However,  you can still reduce your chances of water damage by filling an old nylon sock or panty-hose leg with ice melter (calcium chloride) and laying it on the roof, perpendicular to the gutter so that it hangs over.  This will melt a channel in the dam and allow for roof runoff to escape the dam rather than being pushed back.

Enjoy the warming weather!