Keep Your Home Healthy this Winter
Winter brings a wide range of temperature swings, from mild to extreme, along with precipitation from misty rain to heavy snowstorms. Here are some tips to keep you and your home healthier this winter.
- If your home is equipped with exhaust fans that vent through the ceiling, ensure that the exhaust fan duct work is routed to the exterior of the home and not inside the attic. This will keep moisture out of your attic and reduce chances of ice dams and moisture related damage.
- Make sure that you run the fan during, and for 15 minutes after, your shower to reduce moisture. Don’t forget your kitchen, too; run your kitchen exhaust fan while cooking.
- Purchase a hygrometer (humidity gauge) to measure the humidity level in your house. Recommended maximum levels of humidity in the winter is 30-40% in cold climates. Any humidity level above that may cause moisture issues in your house.
- After heavy snows and especially after several days of freezing, check your roof for ice dams or moisture issues. Ice dams typically occur after a significant snowfall followed by several days of freezing temperatures.
- Ice dams are caused by warm and dry air leaking from inside a home into the attic space or roof overhangs. The warm air melts the snow on the roof which then drains along the roof and freezes when it crosses a cold roof overhang creating an ice dam which may continue to increase in size as more ice accumulates. Dams can damage a roof surface or cause water leaks into the home.
- Do not try to remove snow from the roof yourself. Contact a licensed roofer to remove the snow and repair your exhaust fan ductwork so that it exhausts to the exterior of the home.
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