There’s no getting around the long, cold winter months that are upon us. Be sure that you’ve done all you can to prepare your home for extreme cold, snowfall, and potential winter storms.
Before a Storm
Have Your Snow Removal Tools Handy
Be sure to have good, sturdy shovels or a well-tuned snow blower ready to go. The worst time to be shopping for shovels or repairing your snow blower is when 5 inches have already fallen. If you have kids, buy child-sized shovels so they can help out, too.
You may want to consider a snow removal company that will plow your driveway when a certain amount of snow falls; usually 1-2 inches. Some may prorate subscriptions now that we are part-way through winter. The service is especially nice for those with knee or back issues.
How Are Your Windows?
Do your windows have a layer of condensation on them on cold mornings? Can you feel a draft pouring through your windows? Do you avoid opening drapes to keep your rooms warm?
Windows and doors can lose between 30-40% of your home’s heat, and replacing old windows can improve energy costs by a quarter to half of your current bill. If you can’t imagine changing your windows during the cold months, start saving up for this smart renovation right away in spring. Not only will it make winters more comfortable and your home more energy-efficient, but it is one of the best remodeling projects in terms of return on investment and increased home value.
Energy-efficient windows are one of our specialties at Minnesota Home Improvements. Contact us to get an estimate on replacing your old windows or to find out more.
During a Storm
Beware of Carbon Monoxide Build-Up
Carbon monoxide build-up can occur when your furnace’s fresh air intake or exhaust vent gets blocked by snow. This can cause carbon monoxide to accumulate in your home. Know where the air intake and exhaust vent is on your home and regularly check to be sure they’re never blocked. Every home should have carbon monoxide detectors.Avoid other carbon monoxide dangers by checking that car exhaust pipes are also free from snow and ice, only letting cars run after you’ve moved them out of the garage, and be sure to keep generators at least 25 feet from your home.
After the Storm
Clear Ice Dams
An ice dam is a section of ice that forms on the edge of your roof or near gutters and prevents melting snow and water from draining off your roof. This water can accumulate and either freeze or cause water damage to your home.Ice dams are common when temperatures hover around the freezing point and can cause major damage.
If you see sections of your roof without snow but icicles and ice hang along your roofline, you need to address the problem immediately. Contact Minnesota Home Improvements to remove dangerous ice dams and icicles from your structure and assess the insulation problems that are causing them.
We look forward to helping you get through the winter weather and making your home the haven it should be.contact us for any home improvement projects you have in mind. We’re proud to have locations in St. Cloud, Brainerd, and Litchfield.