Spring is all about renewal, from the welcome sound of birds chirping to the reappearance of leaves on the trees. It’s also a sign that it’s time to renew your roof following the ravages of winter storms and ice assaults. But should that renewal include a full-scale replacement, or can you get away with simple repairs? Let’s take a closer look at the issue of springtime re-roofing.
Winter Weather Leads to Spring Surprises
It’s not surprising that so many homeowners ride out the winter before addressing a roof repair. The do-it-yourselfers have no desire to climb up onto an icy roof and work in frigid temperatures, while the formation of solid ice dams can make gutter repair all but impossible.
Unfortunately, any little problems in your roof, such as pinhole leaks in the flashing or roof sheathing, are only likely to grow worse with continued exposure to winter weather, while the weight of . . .
There are plenty of good reasons you might want to replace the windows in your home, from keeping moisture out to lowering your energy. But there are also plenty of good reasons why you might not want to assume this task yourself, no matter how much of a “do-it-yourselfer” you happen to be. Let’s look at just a few of the reasons you’re better off scheduling a professional window evaluation and replacement instead.
Professionals Recognize Trouble Signs
If your windows are failing to control your interior climate or block the massage of moisture, then it’s possible that other structures in the home have been compromised as well. For instance, water doesn’t just create obvious rot in wooden window frames — it can also leak into the surrounding drywall, causing an invisible health hazard from mold growth. (Poor thermal performance that leads to frost formation is a common culprit.) An expert can spot these problems and recommend . . .
Many of the most beautiful things in nature can have a dangerous side, and icicles are no exception. Those glittering shafts make a pretty picture in the sunlight, but things can get ugly in a hurry when they start causing injuries and other problems. Let’s take a look at the risks presented by these hardened chunks of frozen runoff — and what you can do about it.
A Natural Threat
Icicles are spawned by ice collected on tree limbs roofs, gutters, and other suspended objects. Sunlight shining down on the ice can raise its temperature just enough to initiate melting. Water rolls down the surface and begins dripping from it. But the temperature in the open air is still below freezing, so without the extra thermal energy from concentrated sun exposure the water re-freezes in mid-drip. The result is an elongated cone of ice with a sharp, pointed end. The right conditions . . .
It has been a brutal winter filled with snow, ice and frigid temperatures. Every week there is a new storm threatening more snow and ice. This weather is the perfect combination for the formation of ice dams, frozen gutters and dangerous icicles. It seems like the unofficial word of this winter is- ice dam. You hear it everywhere you go throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. But, what is an ice dam?
Ice Dams are caused by the ice buildup on the edge of your roof. Because of this buildup, the water from the melting snow and ice cannot flow freely off of your home’s roof and into the gutters and downspouts. With nowhere for the water to go, it begins backing up behind the icy buildup and eventually into your home.
Water stains on your ceiling or walls, a leaking roof or wet insulation are telltale signs . . .
For some reason, leaves, twigs, and other debris simply love to wash down your roof and collect in your gutters, along with the water those gutters are intended to catch. Having a clogged-up gutter is pretty much like having no gutter at all. The obvious solution to this problem is to cover your gutters with something that will keep this garbage out. But what kind of gutter cover should you choose — and how do you know whether it will fit?
Fortunately for anyone who has to purchase and install gutter covers without the benefit of professional guidance, the vast majority of gutters come in one of two sizes. Unless you have a particularly esoteric roof design, chances are that your gutters are either 5 inches wide or 6 inches wide. A tape measure will clear that question up for you in a matter of seconds. (Don’t be too surprised, . . .
Most roofers would quite understandably prefer to do repair jobs during the warmer months, and you too may be tempted to let minor issues go until then. But if your roof is leaking or has developed weaknesses that could cause imminent leakage, you’ll want to go ahead and make those repairs even during the winter months. Here are some examples of roof repair projects that needn’t (and shouldn’t) sit until springtime.
Shingle and Flashing Fixes
Assuming that your shingles and roof flashing aren’t buried under a mound of snow, you should be able to make repairs to these components even in the dead of winter. That said, it’s best to wait for a day when temperatures have broken the freezing mark before re-glueing or replacing your shingles, which can become inflexible enough to crack under conditions of extreme cold. As for . . .
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re always looking for ways to save money on the necessary expenses of running the household, including those annoying energy bills. But with so many variables affecting your energy usage — many of them invisible to the untrained eye — you may feel that you have little control over what you’re paying. Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on your own know-how. Professional energy reviews can provide a wealth of information and advice on how to make cost-cutting changes.
What an Energy Review Tells You
An energy review, also referred to as an energy audit or energy assessment, is a thorough evaluation of your home by a qualified contractor. A representative of the Mass Save Major Renovations Program can do this for you for free. This includes infrared readings of your home, inside and out, and display temperature changes indicating where you’re losing cool or warm air. . . .
What does “winterizing” mean to you? For many, the term evokes images of topping up the antifreeze in the car, making sure pets are warm and safe, or addressing drafts that blow in through the windows and doors. But while you’re dealing with all those things, don’t forget to put up a fight against ice accumulation! Let’s look at some helpful tips and tricks for keeping ice at bay.
Gathering Your Tools
You don’t want to be trapped in your house due to dangerously slippery ice on the sidewalks, unable even to get to the store and purchase ice-fighting gear, so go get those tools and equipment before the weather turns foul. Start by laying in a generous supply of de-icing material to spread on your front stoop and driveway. Make sure you have a sturdy snow shovel on hand for scraping melted precipitation and any stubborn ice deposits away from the . . .
Do you live in a part of the nation that understands what seasons are? If winter is more than an abstract concept taught to you by Christmas movies, then you’re a serious candidate for owning heated gutters.
What Do Heated Gutters Offer?
The main benefit of heated gutters is that they prevent ice dams. Ice dams are nasty build-ups of ice in your gutters that, in addition to making them useless until the next big thaw, can cause permanent damage to your roof. Ice dams are caused by attic heat melting snow on the roof, which runs down into the gutter and then re-freezes. A heated gutter (which are regular gutters with a separate product placed in it, not brand new gutters with heating elements) keeps this runoff a warm liquid that drains through your gutter as intended. In addition to clogging up your gutters, ice dams, if left unchecked, can lead . . .
Window frost is still fairly common in older homes, and though frost patterns on the glass are beautiful, repeated frost deposition on windows can lead to problems. The combination of cold air outdoors and humid, warmer air indoors is the basis of frost formation. When the outdoor temperature drops low enough, water vapor from indoor air condenses into liquid water on window panes. If the pane is cold enough, the liquid freezes into ice crystals, forming frost. When frost on windows melts, the moisture in it affects window frames when it drips down, and can even seep down into walls, where mold can grow.
Frost may look pretty on windowpanes, but it keeps your house colder and can lead to other problems.
Three Factors That Can Increase Frost on Windows
One of the . . .