Fall & Winter Maintenance Reminders

As colder weather approaches, you can take a few key steps to ensure your home serves you well through the coming months. Please take time to check these items in and around your home and attend to any that need maintenance.

  • Clean and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Change or clean the furnace filter.
  • Adjust registers and confirm that cold air returns are clear of furniture or draperies.
  • Remove hoses from exterior faucets to prevent a frozen water line
  • Clean rain gutters, check downspouts; confirm that splash blocks drain away from the house.

 

Exterior Concrete

Exterior concrete can be damaged by many winter weather elements. Things that are most harmful to concrete and can cause excessive cracking and spalling are:

  • Driving over ice
  • Parking over ice
  • Standing snow
  • Salt
  • De-icer

Use sand to melt ice, don’t use salt or de-icer. 

Don’t park on concrete surfaces after driving on wet, salted streets. Park elsewhere until your automobile undercarriage has thawed and dried.

Keep run-off water away from concrete surfaces. This can undermine driveways, walkways, patios and other concrete surfaces causing settling, sinking and cracking.

Exterior Concrete is NOT covered under your Nilson Homes Warranty.

Refer to page 31 in your Homeowner Manual.

Roof & Ice Damming

As the snow melts, it often refreezes at roof edges. If your home is carrying a large snow load on your roof, remove the snow from your roof. This can be accomplished by using a roof rake that is available for rent at many equipment rental companies or for purchase at local hardware stores. This will alleviate that burden of extra weight on your roof.

As snow builds up, there is the potential of ice damming. Be aware that most roof damage and leaks are often caused by ice damming. 

Ice damming is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. It can form when indoor heating rises through the ceiling into the attic and warms the roof surface. 

Ice damming is an act of nature and not an element of improper construction. It is your responsibility to prevent ice-damming. Please be aware that the 2-10 Warranty that was included with your home excludes weather related items such as these mentioned above. For questions on this, please refer to Section VIII. Exclusions and Section 5.6 Roofing.

Heat Tape

Ice damming is preventable if heat tape is installed. If you have not installed heat tape this season, make note of areas around your roof that have icicles and ice build-up and install heat tape in these areas next season.

You may want to consider installing more soffit power outlets to accommodate heat tape. Outlets are provided for heat tape; one in front and one in back, in the soffits. Nilson Homes does not install heat tape, but we highly suggest you install it, especially in high snow load locations. In doing so, we suggest:

• Heat tape in all cricket areas and on the north side of the home.
• Heat tape in raingutters and downspouts.
• Soffit outlets are for heat tape but are only effective when switched to the “on” position. Plugging in holiday lights at the same time can overload the circuit so you should consider additional dedicated outlets for decoration purposes.

Pipes

Be conscious of extra cold nights, big storms and wind chill. These can all contribute to frozen pipes. Frozen water pipes can be prevented. On extra cold nights:

• Open the vanity doors on cupboards on exterior walls; kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. and leave water dripping.
• Take all hoses off hose bibbs. It could freeze up into your house if you don’t.
• If you have a sink in your garage, always keep your garage closed or winterize your sink.