Does anyone have a roof rake I can borrow?
The recent frigid weather has brought homeowners a host of problems. Many friends and neighbors (including me) have come home in freezing temperatures to an ice-jammed gutter or the dreaded sound of dripping water because of a burst pipe. And then there is the feeling of panic when you turn on your faucet and nothing comes out.
We called an expert to ask the home maintenance questions that are on everyone's chapped lips these days. Alan Beal, president of Mid-Atlantic Inspection Services, took our questions last week in between calls from his own clients desperate for some cold-weather smarts.
Q: Does this bitter cold wave, with many days below freezing, require special care of a house?
A: Yes. A lot of times, people ignore the general recommendations of what you should do to winterize your house. Some years, you can get away with not doing some of the things, but when it gets to subfreezing temperatures . . . you can have some serious problems if you have not shut off the valves for the exterior hose connection or had your gutters cleaned.
Q: What is the definition of ice damming?
A: Ice damming is when snow melts off the roof and then refreezes because the gutters are either clogged with leaves or blocked with snow and ice or both. The melted water has nowhere to drain, so it pools and starts to back up. If you see icicles, it's a clue that this is happening. The water comes over the gutters and drips down to form icicles. So if you see them, you are at risk.
Q: Should you try and knock the icicles down?
A: Well, if they are large, they could start to pull your gutters down, and you don't want anyone to be hit by a falling icicle. So you might knock them down carefully to reduce the load on the gutter. But it won't really change your susceptibility to moisture intrusion due to ice damming. The reason you are getting them is that the water isn't draining properly.
Q: What about roof rakes?
A: Roof raking is not a bad idea because you can get rid of the snow that is melting. But you have to be very careful doing it and also be careful not to damage the roof. You can also hire gutter cleaners or roofers to rake your roof.
Q: What can you do to prevent ice damming?
A: Have your gutters cleaned four times a year, at the start of every season. It's especially important to have it done at the end of the fall. Unfortunately ice damming can happen even if you have your gutters cleaned. If you have an attic, you should add insulation to keep warm air from going up to the attic and allowing ice to form on your roof. If you have a home energy audit, they will also identify places in the attic such as the recessed lights and ductwork that should be caulked or otherwise sealed.
Q: What advice can you give us on preventing frozen pipes?
A: Make sure you know where your home's water shut-off valve is, because if you get a burst pipe, you have to turn off the water. If you have a home with additions or a crawl space, these can be big risk areas for freezing pipes because the walls aren't insulated properly. If you can get to the pipes, you should insulate them with a special black rubber foam pipe insulation that wraps around individual pipes. If you have had issues before, keep the light on in that room and use a space heater, following manufacturer's instructions for proper operation, to provide more heat to keep pipes from freezing.
Q: What's another thing to check?
A: If you have a drain line from your HVAC system or a humidifier attached to them and it drains outside, make sure to check the drain frequently in freezing weather to determine that it's not frozen.
Q: What about window condensation?
A: People with older houses and single-pane windows with no storm windows get a lot of condensation in this weather. It later can freeze, melt and damage the woodwork. You should mop up the moisture with towels and try to keep it away from the wood.
Q: If it snows a lot, what are things we should be aware of in home maintenance?
A: Make sure the exterior vents are clear, and the same with downspouts that drain and don't go into an extension. Uncover your dryer vent.
Does anyone have a roof rake I can borrow?
- Community News Network
VIDEO: NHL game postponed after player collapses
Monday's game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Dallas Stars was postponed after Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench shortly after completing a shift in the first period.
VIDEO: Family rescued from ferocious feline
A family in Portland, Ore., called 911 after their pet cat scratched their son and "went over the edge," forcing them to take refuge in a bedroom.
Ingenuity keeps Cowboys in ‘Race’
Ranch work is equal parts animal care, land management and jack-of-all-trades Western engineering.
That experience came in handy for the McCoy brothers during the third episode of Season 24 of “The Amazing Race,” the CBS-TV reality series. The brothers put t
Latta team holds off Haworth
Eleven months and three weeks or so ago, the Latta Panthers were battling Haworth in a Class 2A State championship game. Latta fans won’t soon forget handing out that 58-41 shellacking to win the gold ball.
Friday’s night’s rematch in a 2A Area Tournament title tilt inside Byng’s Bill Koller Fieldhouse was much closer.
Lady Cougars stop No. 1 Fort Gibson in overtime
The Ada Lady Cougars rolled into Friday night’s area championship game holding opponents to less than 32 points per game in the playoffs. Fort Gibson was averaging 67 ppg in its impressive playoff run.
When push came to shove for the area championship with a state tournament trip on the line, it was Ada’s defense that prevailed.
The fifth-ranked Lady Cougars upset the top-ranked Lady Tigers 33-30 in an overtime thriller to punch their ticket to this week’s Class 4A State Tournament.
Ada firefighter Danny Manuel wants to be the top Ninja warrior on NBC’s popular American Ninja Warrior television show.
He is anxiously awaiting word on whether he has been selected as one of the contestants for this year’s show.
He went through this same process last year but was never contacted.
Just like Charlie Brown on the mound in a rainstorm, Manuel keeps training and hoping for the best, even when nobody’s watching.
In the meantime, Manuel, who turns 40 this month, is preparing as if he’ll get the call for what promises to be another strenuous competition in 2014.
- Diplomatic immunity: Moorish American claims status, fails to appear for misdemeanor jury trial
VIDEO: Michigan woman's death, mummified body hidden by auto-pay for six years
The mummified body of a Michigan woman was discovered in the backseat of her car approximately six years after her death. The body was only found after the bank that foreclosed on the home ordered work on the property.
Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimination
The owner of a California gay bar should be allowed to refuse service to legislators he considers "crazy, ignorant or stupid." The problem is the popular double-standard that supports his version of "discrimination" while raging against anyone who disagrees with him but wants the same freedom.
VIDEO: Penguin sweaters save birds trapped in oil spills
A wildlife group in Australia is inviting volunteers to knit sweaters for the penguin population it conserves, because it says the sweaters can actually save the lives of birds caught in oil spills.
- More Community News Network Headlines
- VIDEO: NHL game postponed after player collapses