Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snow and Our Homes

Snow: Atmospheric water vapor frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes or lying on the ground as a white layer.

The West Michigan area has seen a lot of this snow this past week and as we turn to next week with temperatures nearing the 50 degree mark, this is why, we, Michiganders love our four season state.

Homes are built to withstand different elements in different areas, like snow in Michigan. Our homes are built to withstand the heavy weight of this beautiful frozen element but only to a certain point. Snow is very heavy; one cubic foot of snow can weigh as much as 40-50lbs. With enough snow on top of our homes, it could turn disastrous. A good indication to tell if your roof has too much snow on it is when the doors inside are beginning to stick, like bedroom and closet doors on the top floor. Also, examine the door frames for potential cracks as this may be a sign of there being too much weight on the roof. If you see these signs, it is best to call in a professional to have the snow removed as this can be a very dangerous task. If you are a do-it-yourselfer there are snow rakes you can buy at your local hardware or home improvement store that can get the job done, just use caution.

As a home inspector, snow can be very useful on telling the efficiency of heating. When a light dusting of snow covers the roof, we are able to see where there is a loss of heat by how the snow is melting. If you compare your home to others after a light snow fall you will see just how efficient your attic is. The more roof that is visible the more heat that is escaping and in return the more money you are paying for your bill. If your roof is showing after a light snow, have your home inspected to see how you better insulate your roof to prevent the loss of heat in the winter. Snow also can help with our heating bill; as the snow is packed up against our homes it acts as an insulator and keeps the heat inside.

In this Great Lake state, we always must be prepared for the unexpected. One day sunshine and 65 degrees and the next day is a lake effect snow advisory. Keep those roofs clear and enjoy this wonderful weather.

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