5 Michigan Winter Tips to Protect Your Home from Potential Damages

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As a homeowner, we hope you never find yourself singing, "I Will Survive" as you pray your home makes it through another Michigan winter. It's important to do some preventative maintenance and to know the warning signs that your home may need some TLC before the snow begins to blanket your roof.

1. Feeling Drafty - check your home for interior drafts. Here are the areas to check for drafts: doors, windows, attic hatches, crawl spaces, basement, etc.

   Top of your list should be your attic. Because heat rises you'll want to be sure your attic is secure and that you're not paying for the heat to escape up and out of the attic.

2. Remove Roof & Gutter Debris - Before the snow begins to fall it's important to be sure that your overhangs haven't collected leaf debris and gutters aren't clogged with leaves. Most important is that the gutters & downspouts are clear of debris so that as the ice melts the water will drain properly. Clogged gutters will lead to ice damming. Ice dams will keep consistent moisture around your home. Standing water can potentially damage your home's siding and/or foundation.

3. Prevent Ice Dams - Large masses of ice can form at the edge of your roof creating an ice dam. An ice dam will prevent any melting snow from draining off of the roof properly. On occasion, ice dams can be tricky to see. However, it is important to know what to look for to prevent water damage to your home.

   Ice dams can be identified by large icicles or by water running down the house. However, if you have a steeper roof or skylights an ice dam may be difficult to see. Keep in mind walking your roof can be dangerous. If you don't feel comfortable be sure to contact a contractor to identify any potential issues for you.

   **Important Note** Removing ice dams can be a tricky job even for a skilled roofing technician. Attempting to remove them yourself can be dangerous and can cause damage to your roof. If you think you have an ice dam, American Classic can help. Our crews can identify ice dams, carefully remove them, repair any damages that may have occurred, and protect your home from future damages.

4. Don't BEAT the Heat... KEEP the Heat - Be sure that you have a good amount of evenly distributed insulation. Insulation aids in keeping your home warm where you need it. It also stops the transportation of heat to under your shingles where it will help reduce the formation of ice dams.

5. Removing Snow - We've all seen the crazy pictures of homeowners on their roofs with a snow blower to remove snow build up. While we don't recommend you haul your snow blower on your roof we do recommend you remove any excess snow accumulation. Removing the snow will help prevent ice dams and damage to your roof.

   To know when to remove snow from your roof, we use the following Rule of Thumb: Rake it every 6 inches or so of snowfall.

   **Warning** Never put any salt products on your roof. Salt will discolor your shingles.


We hope you have found these tips helpful. Should you have any questions or need any assistance with your home be sure to call American Classic. Our service technicians will be able to assist you with any questions you have regarding your home.