Winter is fast approaching. When harsh weather hits, maintenance issues are typically not far behind in homes across Fairfield County, CT. Homeowners can handle some of these tasks themselves; however, others require the experience of a residential property management professional. Here are a few of the more common winter maintenance challenges, and how they can be fixed. 

Ice Dams

An ice dam occurs when warm air escapes from the roof and melts the snow. Water running down the roof surface refreezes as it hits the colder edges. As a result a thick band of ice builds up. Ice dams can be a major problem if not addressed. Water can eventually back up and be pushed under shingles, causing infiltration into the home.

The short term fix when dealing with ice dams is to remove resting snow from the roof. Homeowners can handle this with a roof rake, or this can be a good job for a handyman. Getting at the root of the issue, however, will require the expertise of a residential property management professional. Ice dams are typically caused when poor insulation allows hot air to escape. Bring an expert in to repair or install new insulation and/or ventilation as needed. 

Garage Door issues

Garage doors are made of metal components that can become compromised when exposed to cold temperatures. Metal contracts in the cold, which can cause springs, and other parts, to break more easily. Lubricant can also dry up after time. Without proper lubricant, excess friction and wear can occur. To help avoid garage door issues, have your handyman regularly lubricate the metal tracks, springs and hinges. If an issue does occur, your property management company can replace parts as needed. 

Frozen Pipes

Chances are you’ve experienced frozen pipes if you’re a homeowner. Pipes often freeze during extended cold spells when temperatures reach sub 20 degrees for several days. This can lead to big problems. Water expands when frozen, leading to cracked pipes. When thawed, water can be released through the compromised areas and flood interior spaces. Flood damage can be very costly. 

Frozen pipes typically occur to plumbing that runs along an exterior wall. These spaces are naturally more exposed to the cold. To solve for this you may need to better insulate behind the pipes, as well as wrap the pipe itself in insulation. When extreme cold spells are forecasted, it’s always a good idea to keep the heat a little bit higher than normal overnight.  

Fireplace Repair

Moisture is a major offender when it comes to chimney damage and problems can occur in the winter months. Any moisture issues within the chimney can cause cracking as water expands and contracts during freezing and thawing. Moisture typically enters the chimney through deteriorated mortar, a broken or missing crown, a damaged chimney cap, or damaged flashing. Yearly winter maintenance inspections should help identify damage. If issues do occur, however, this is a job best handled by a professional. 

Heating System Breakdowns

In Greenwich, CT and surrounding Fairfield County, your heating system will run for approximately seven months out of the year and it will run non stop, day and night, for about five of those months. This puts constant ware on your heating equipment. Furnace breakdowns can be expensive and can leave you without heat for a period of time. To help eliminate major breakdowns you should have your furnace inspected and serviced every year. Cleaning and tuning up the equipment will extend its life and help things run more efficiently. 

In Conclusion

Greenwich, CT winters can be brutal on homes. Luckily the residential property management professionals at Duffy Home Solutions are a quick phone call away. Our programs cover all of your maintenance needs – from furnace repair to deck staining to changing light bulbs. No issue is too big or too small. As we await the start of winter, now is a good time to plan for coverage. 

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