Freezing temperatures can result in damage to your home, especially if you’re not prepared. Frozen pipes and ice dams are two common perils that can cause thousands in damage for homeowners, but are fairly easy to protect against.

Freezing Pipes
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. This is because water expands when it freezes. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are particularly vulnerable to freezing in the extremely cold weather.

To help keep pipes from freezing:
• Cover exposed pipes with insulation sleeves to slow the heat transfer. The more insulation the better.
• Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulk.
• Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
• Drain the water system, especially if your home will be unattended during cold periods.
• As an extra precaution, install a temperature alarm to notify you in case of sudden changes.

Ice Dams
Water can be a destructive force to your home that can lead to wood rot, peeling paint, insect infestation, shorter life span of the roofing and siding, and result in higher maintenance costs.
The best way to avoid high maintenance costs is to prevent water damage in the first place.
An ice dam is an accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. When interior heat melts the snow on the roof, the water will run down and refreeze at the roof’s edge, where temperatures are much cooler. Eventually, the ice builds up and blocks water from draining off of the roof. This can force water under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your home.

Take these steps to avoid ice dams:
• Keep the attic well ventilated. The coder 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 home.
• As an extra precaution against roof leaks, have a contractor install a water repellent membrane under your roof covering.

When properly implemented, these simple steps can save you the hassle, headache, and expense associated with frozen pipes and ice dams.
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