Do something nice for your home in the New Year.
You’ve gone ahead and bought something nice for your family and maybe a little something for yourself. Now would be a good time to do a little something for your home. Let’s think seasonal. Winter is a season that is extremely hard on your home. There is a significant snow load on your roof, the grading and landscaping is thoroughly frozen, your chimney is working overtime, and there is possibly some frost on the windows.
Now is a good time to have a look at your eave troughs. One of the most common occurrences on the troughing system is ice damming. Ice damming occurs when the melting snow/ice from your roof melts down and freezes at the lower edge of your eave or overhang. The melt from your roof, either from heat loss from the attic space or the heat from the sun, travels under the snow sheet on your roof and freezes at the colder portion of your exposed eave. This is caused by insufficient airflow to the eave area. There are a few contributing factors as to why ice damming occurs. First, not enough/or no soffit venting present under the eave of your roof. This causes a cold zone which allows ice build up on your first 1 or 2 feet of the roofs overhang/eave. There is also a chance that when you treated your home to a new layer of insulation, whether blown in cellulose or a new thick pink layer of fibre glass, that it was improperly installed. There have been many a roof that Binder Home Inspections has inspected where there has been insulation stuffed or blown in under the cavity of the eave. The insulation then blocks the airflow to and from the attic space. Insufficient roof venting can also contribute to poor airflow within an attic space. 1/300 is a general rule of thumb, 1 square foot of venting for every 300-sq. ft. of attic floor space. Please leave this calculation to your professional roofing contractor.
Make sure that the snow accumulation around your home does not get too high. The reason for bringing this up is that the snow needs to melt in the Spring. When the accumulation from a heavy Winter melts, that meltwater needs a place to go. Water seeks the lowest spot that it can go, with the least resistance. Usually, this is down the side of your foundation walls and into any small cracks it can find. If this meltwater enters the crack and decides to freeze again, that is where your home may feel the damage done. These cracks are difficult to determine and locate until it is usually too late. They usually raise their ugly head when the heavy Spring rains come and the restoration companies make their share. Keep the snow back from your home, make sure your sump pump is working (Lift the float on your pump, to test proper operation), Downspouts are directed from your foundation, your grading is properly sloped away from the foundation.
Condensation build up on your windows from the inside can be very damaging as well. The moisture can settle on the wood framing and cause the sill to rot. This can be a costly effect further down the road, if the condition persists. Chronic window sweat can be caused by various situations. Cooking, shower steam, breathing, humidifiers, and improperly calibrated air exchangers (HRV’s). Please take your time this Winter to examine the possibilities, if you are having window condensation problems. Also, you can never rule out the possibility of broken or worn out seals on the windows themselves. If you have any questions do not hesitate to call, email, and or text Binder Home Inspections at www.binderhomeinspections.com . *Ask for our Seasonal Inspection rates.
Now, is also a good time to have your chimney and/or chimney liner inspected by a qualified Gas/HVAC installer. It is extremely important for homeowners who do not have a direct vent furnace or water heater to have these appliances inspected. You want to make sure that the furnace/water heater are breathing properly. There is a backdraft effect that can occur under certain circumstances within your home. It is of utmost importance that CO2 is not backing up into the home and the air you breathe. Seasonal inspections by a qualified technician can insure your furnace/water heater are performing properly and efficiently, as well as, exhuming CO2 by products safely.
Treat your home to a Winter check up, have a look in your attic space, crawlspace and basement areas to look for any possible problem areas. If you do not feel comfortable entering these confined spaces and would like a professional opinion, give Binder Home Inspections the nod. We have offered a popular service for years, known as the Seasonal inspection. We will tell you what you and your home needs to know for the upcoming Spring, Summer, Fall and present Winter months. Check out www.binderhomeinspections.com for all of our contact information for any questions or bookings you may require. Have a Happy New Year Everyone! Happy 2018, From John Binder and Binder Home Inspections.