Preventing Common Winter Problems

October 22, 2021

Preventing Common Winter Problems

It’s getting colder in Minnesota, and with cold temperatures comes the promise of snow. A house blanketed in snow is a classic wintry scene—and yet, every winter, Minnesota homeowners contend with the harsh realities of snow and ice and the impacts they can have on a house. 

We’ve put together our top three winter hazards that homeowners must watch out for, as well as tips for addressing these issues before they snowball (... pun intended) into a much larger problem.

Winter Problem #1: Icicles and Ice Dams

Some of the most visible—and, some might say, picturesque—indicators of winter are glistening icicles dripping from roofs and awnings. Yes, they’re lovely, but they can also cause major problems. Icicles—and their troublesome cousins, ice dams—can damage your gutters, loosen your shingles, and in worst-case scenarios, cause water to pool inside your home. 

So how do you prevent build-up of icicles and the formation of ice dams? Prevention starts with a well-insulated and well-ventilated attic and roof. 

When the surface of your roof becomes warmer than the air outside, any snow on top will slowly melt, running to the eaves and eventually re-freezing to create ice dams. Stop this process in its tracks by ensuring that your attic floor has sufficient insulation material—this keeps the heat inside your living areas from escaping upwards and warming the underside of your roof. Proper ventilation under the eaves and soffits will also ensure that your roof stays cold and doesn’t allow for hot air accumulation. 

Winter Problem #2: Sky-High Heating Bills

There’s not much better than coming home to a cozy-warm house on a cold winter day. Depending on the age and the style of your home and heating systems, achieving the desired level of coziness can lead to an expensive utility bill. 

A key (and sometimes overlooked) component of your home’s energy efficiency equation are windows. Your windows can become major sources of heat loss during the cold months—meaning you’re paying more money in heating bills for less interior warmth! The solution is ensuring that your windows are adequately insulated for Minnesota’s long winters. Modern windows, especially those with vinyl, fiberglass, or aluminum cladding, provide far greater temperature insulation than those from several decades ago. 

Upgrading your home’s windows can save you money in the long run by lowering your heating bills (and keeping your house cooler in hot summer months). At Keyprime, we offer free evaluations of your windows’ efficiency and would be happy to provide you with some professional insight.

Winter Problem #3: Heavy Snow on Roofs

Another problem facing Minnesota homeowners is the sheer weight of the snow that can accumulate on a roof. Did you know that a cubic foot of snow weighs about twenty pounds? Let’s say you’ve got a 1,700 square foot roof, and over the course of a week your neighborhood receives a foot of snowfall. That means that your roof is now holding up a whopping 34,000 pounds of snow—and over time, this seasonal burden can lead to major structural damage to your roof and to your home. 

There’s not much that you can do to keep snow from falling on your roof. However, you can prevent it from sitting there long-term. Shoveling snow off your roof is the easiest way to lighten your home’s load. At Keyprime, one of the services we offer is roof shoveling during the winter months. If you’re unsure about your ability to remove the snow yourself, we’d be happy to help you out. 

Once you’ve covered your bases by following the problem-solving measures discussed above, it’s easier to relax and enjoy the snowy winter season! If you’re concerned about your home’s insulation, windows, or roof structure, Keyprime is here to set your mind at ease. Schedule a consultation with one of our expert roofers today.

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