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Winter Home Repair; Houses Under Attack

By: Johnny Concrete

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Almost everyone in the northeast is experiencing one of the worst winters remembered. The fact is that our homes are being attacked by Mother Nature. The accumulated snow on our roofs is piled so high the weight stresses on roof joists. Ice dams are slowly melting with each day, pushing water under the singles and into our attics, then it travels across the ceiling, finds a low spot to puddle and drips into the room, or worse, down the edge wall, across the floor seeping under the carpet and finally into the basement. If you’re thinking, or even screaming, “Help I’m drowning! What do I do?” then I might be of some help.

Don’t panic to avoid thinking clearly. We never use good judgment when we’re “crazed”. The good news is that it shall hopefully melt in good time, and the conversation at the office water-cooler is never boring if you have the best horror story.

The only way to stop the water from coming in is to first try and break apart the ice dam.

DISCLAIMER: Be careful, because you could cause more damage to the roof just by breaking the ice and shoveling the snow, than you’re trying to prevent. When the ice dam breaks off, the gutters could be ripped right off the side of the house taking a couple of layers of shingles and part of your roof with it! Or worse, you could slip and/or fall off your own roof breaking your neck/spine, arms/legs. Whatever accident may occur, if you don’t have an idiotic “afflack duck” quacking in your corner, or back-talking lizard by your side, you’re screwed.

image-21The best suggestion I could give is to call an insured professional who knows roofing and general building experience. An 18-year-old kid with a ladder and shovel might turn into a damaged house and/or lawsuit.

Put waterproof containers under the drips. Turn off all electrical items near the incoming water. Move valuable items to “dry land”. Wish for warmer weather and don’t give up hope.
When spring does arrive there will be plenty of “out-of-work” contractors awaking from their wintery hibernation, ready and able to accommodate you’re needs. But make sure they have at least two good references that don’t have the same last name or mailing address. Also make sure you have some sort of contract signed before they touch anything, protecting both you and them from any liability.

Look out for my next post, and I’m more than happy to let you know about any more helpful tips, as well as how to determine if that contractor is reputable or not. So stay warm and dry, we’re almost out of this winter, keeping your thoughts on BBQ’s, palm trees and white sandy beaches.

Never stop smiling because the world will smile back,
Johnny Concrete