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Building Materials Blog

Winter Home Maintenance: Preventing Costly Repairs

Updated: Mar 20, 2023


As Bend residents, we are accustomed to snow and frigid temperatures, but that doesn't mean that we are immune to the brutal effects it may have on us. Our homes are no exception either!


If you're not attentive, winter may be a difficult season for your house and cause extensive (and expensive!) damage. Homeowners need to be aware of several problems that might occur when there is a mix of cold temperatures, snow, and ice. Luckily, we've seen some of the most common kinds of problems that arise during winter, and we compiled a list to help you prevent these problems from happening in the first place!


Mold Growth

Winter weather can cause moisture to build up in a home, particularly in places with inadequate ventilation. Excessive moisture can cause mold to develop on surfaces including walls, floors, and ceilings. This mold growth can negatively affect your health, especially if you have respiratory issues. Recognizing and taking care of any moisture sources that may occur in your home is an important maintenance chore to keep in mind throughout winter. Repairing leaks, improving ventilation, and maintaining proper humidity levels may all be part of this. When mold growth is detected, it is critical to have it professionally cleaned to ensure that the area is sanitized and that further regrowth is prevented.


Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a common problem during winter and can cause significant damage to your home. When water freezes, it expands, which can cause pipes to crack or burst. Bursting pipes can lead to flooding, water damage, and additional costly repairs.


Keeping the temperature in your home above at least 60°F will prevent your pipes from freezing. Letting the cold water from your faucets drip out can also help, but the most recommended prevention is insulating your pipes with foam insulations if they are in unheated areas such as garages, attics, and crawl spaces.


For those who live in rural areas and have a well, consider installing a heat source or cover the well to help the temperature from dropping below freezing. This, in conjunction with keeping the well pump running, can help prevent your pump from breaking and ensure a steady supply of water throughout the frigid season.


Roof Damage and Leaks

Heavy snowfall, ice accumulation, and freezing temperatures can compromise the integrity of your roof. This is especially true if you are living in an older home. One of the most common issues is leaks! They can be particularly damaging if they go unnoticed for a long time, as they can lead to mold growth and further structural damage.


To prevent these problems, it's important to ensure your roof is properly maintained and prepared for winter storms or extreme weather conditions. This includes checking for any existing damages or leaks, removing debris from your roof, and ensuring proper insulation and ventilation to prevent condensation buildup.


Ice Dams

This is a frequent winter issue that occurs when the snow melts and then refreezes along the eaves. The melting snow on your roof may become stuck behind the dam and spill into your home, causing water damage to your walls, ceilings, and insulation.


You may enhance the insulation and ventilation in your attic to prevent future ice jams. This will keep the roof surface frigid and keep snow from melting and refreezing.



Drafts

Drafts are small openings in your home, such as gaps around doors and windows, that allow cold outside air to enter and the inside of your home's warm air to escape. During winter, this can be a significant source of heat loss, which can result in increased energy bills and reduced comfort.


To prevent drafts in your home, you can seal gaps around doors and windows using weatherstripping and caulking. You can also add insulation to your walls, floors, and attic to reduce heat loss. Additionally, consider using draft stoppers or door sweeps to block drafts from entering under doors.


Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are a common nuisance, especially in locations with significant snowfall. As snow and ice melt, they can build up in your gutters and downspouts, clogging them and preventing water from flowing correctly.


To avoid clogged drains, clean your gutters and downspouts on a regular basis, especially before and after large snowfalls. To clear the trash and allow water to flow freely, use a gutter scoop or a garden hose. Installing gutter guards is also a smart idea to keep leaves, twigs, and other debris out of your gutters.


Foundation Cracks

When the ground freezes and thaws repeatedly, the soil around your home can expand and contract, which can put pressure on your home's foundation. Over time, this pressure can cause cracks to form in the foundation.


To prevent foundation cracks, it's important to maintain proper drainage around your home, ensure that your downspouts and gutters are functioning properly, and avoid planting trees or shrubs too close to your home's foundation. You may also want to consider having your home's foundation inspected by a professional to identify any potential issues and address them before they become more serious.


But in case you do notice foundation cracks in your home, it's important to have them inspected and repaired as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the cracks, repairs may involve sealing the cracks with epoxy or polyurethane injection, or in more serious cases, rebuilding a portion of the foundation.


Don't let the harsh winter weather ruin your home! Prevention and consistent maintenance are crucial to maintaining a healthy home.


If you find yourself looking to maintain or renovate your home post-winter, swing by our design center to grab the right materials for the job.


📞 (541) 388-9988

📍 62960 Boyd Acres Road - Bend, OR


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