Any “Game of Thrones” fans out there? Without fail, we know that Winter will be coming in Summit County!  Instead of preparing yourselves for the White Walkers, I’m going to give you some tips for preparing your property for the long winter months ahead.

While this might seem obvious to us mountain dwellers, this point is one I make to many people moving here. The snow in Summit County doesn’t melt all winter. That’s right – it continues to pile on top of itself because the winter temperatures don’t get low enough to melt the snow. What this means is that snow removal is a big issue in our community. Cold temps and piling snow create some unique situations that property owners must know about.

Heat Tape

Please turn on your heat tape when the snow accumulates on your roof. I can’t tell you how many new mountain homeowners don’t know about their heat tape and the damage that can be done when it’s not turned on.

Heat tape is low voltage wire that is attached in a wavy pattern on the lower part of roofs, in the roof gullies, and in the gutters.

The heat tape slowly melts the roof snow so that ice dams are not created by the melting and re-freezing of snow which happens daily. Ice dams cause roof leaks and damage to the shingles and roof.

So, if you own a single family home, duplex or townhome, make sure you understand if you have heat tape, need heat tape, and how to use your heat tape.

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Snow Removal

If you are responsible for your property’s snow removal, make sure you have someone hired to do this ASAP. Once the snow piles up, melts and refreezes, the removal becomes very difficult.

Many landscape companies do snow removal in the winter.

Also, it helps to find a company that works a lot in your neighborhood, so ask your neighbors who they use. That way, the provider isn’t spending a lot of time traveling to further locations, and you won’t be last on the route after a huge snowfall.

Exterior Water Spigot

I personally know the pain of this lesson – twice. In the winter, make it a habit to turn off the exterior water spigots at the source if possible. Our exterior water spigot froze just inside the exterior wall. In the spring, we hired a painter to power wash the entire structure. 

Well, the pipe to that spigot had cracked inside the wall of my home, and while the painter power washed the home for hours, water leaked and flooded into my lower level. A hefty insurance claim was filed, and we had to repair drywall and paint in much of our lower level. After that experience, we cut a hole in the wall to turn off the spigot and put a plastic cover on it, so every winter we can turn off the spigot from inside the wall and turn it on again in the spring.

And it happened to me again . . . we had friends stay at our house over Christmas break while we were traveling and we think they must have left the garage open. The spigot in the garage froze. That spring when we turned on the spigot, we experienced a water leak in the room next door and in our lower level. 

Coming from a true winter dweller, these winter preparation tips will keep your property warm and safe  . . . until next winter.

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