Snow and your house

It’s the snow season in the greater Seattle area and there are some things you should know. In my last blog there are some great ways to prepare for the winter and cold weather. Now that it’s here, there are some things you should keep an eye on.

With the freezing conditions that come along with snow you should keep an eye out for “ice damming” at the soffits. Ice damming is the freezing of the snow that melts over the attic “warmed by the house” that freezes at the soffits or overhangs causing water to build up behind the ice dam. This can lead to water infiltration in walls and attic leading to mold and mildew. If you observe ice damming, there are options for keeping the soffits warm by putting a heated coil on the soffit on the roof where ice damming is occurring. You should also contact a certified thermographer to inspect the home to determine if water infiltration has occurred.

If you have a wood burning fireplace in your home this is the best time of year to use it. It is not always easy to accumulate wood during the year and it can be expensive to buy but it is a great way to save energy if you can procure wood at a low cost. Not only can it be a great way to keep worm but if you have electric heat such as baseboards or cadets this will conserve on heating bill in the colder times of the winter. If you are heating with a heat pump or ductless heating with electric back up heat your heat pump will lose the ability to convert heat from the outdoors due to the cold temperature. Your heating system will switch to backup heat and if it is inefficient it can drive you energy bills up. By using a wood fired or gas fireplace you can stay warm and conserve energy.

This is also a good time to check your attic and crawl space. With ice damming possible and wet of freezing conditions water infiltration in both these areas increases. If you don’t have full access, I always suggest at least opening the attic and crawl space hatches and stick your head in. Many times you can smell, hear or feel if there may be a problem and you can call a professional that can investigate for you.

Keep these things in mind as well as the items in my “preparing for winter” blog post. When the snow starts falling, you will have less worry and more fun in the snow!