Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Weather Winter Storms in Your Deep Creek Lake Home with These Tips!

As Deep Creek Lake Real Estate agents here at Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty, we hope your new year is off to a great start!  It’s a beautiful time of year on Deep Creek Lake and, whether you live here permanently or Deep Creek Lake is your vacation destination throughout the year; we look forward to another year with you in Garrett County Maryland!

When the snow falls here on Deep Creek Lake, it’s a fun time to get out and enjoy the variety of winter activities.  Yet, the winter storms that may come in the next few months, can also be damaging to your Deep Creek Lake home if you’re not prepared.  One of our goals is to help you enjoy your home on Deep Creek Lake for years to come and keeping it in pristine condition can help you do just that!  Here are a few ways to ensure your Deep Creek Lake home can weather any storm that hits Deep Creek Lake this winter. 

1. Protect your roof-  Preventing snow from piling up on your Deep Creek Lake home’s roof can keep your roof from collapsing and costing thousands of dollars in damage.  Most roof can support about 20 pounds per square foot, which is about 4 feet of new snow before becoming distressed.  However, you don’t want to wait until that happens to do something about it.  Using a roof rake with an extra long handle after a snow storm will keep the distress on your roof to a minimum and will protect against collapses.   

2. Prevent ice dams- While hanging icicles may look nice, these can be a sign that you have ice dams building up under your roof.  This happens when heat from inside your house causes water to melt in the middle of your roof and then refreeze near the edges, creating a dam that can lead to leaks in your roof and damage your ceilings, walls and roof.  To prevent this, keep your attic no more than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than outside temperatures which can be done by cracking a window in your attic.  

3. Bundle up your pipes- To prevent pipes from freezing (one of the most common insurance claims in the winter), wrap attic, basement and crawl-space pipes in insulation, which costs as little as $1 per six feet.  You can also open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to flow around the pipes, and let water drip slowly from faucets.

4. Do some quick maintenance-  There are a few minor things you can do to keep issues at bay during the winter months.  Keep trees trimmed, clean gutters and downspouts, and install weather stripping to seal drafty windows and doors. If you have extra time, make sure your landscaping is graded so runoff from rain or melting snow moves away from the foundation. 

5. Keep an emergency kit in your home- Being fully prepared in case of a power outage or being snowed in is something you can do with an emergency home kit.  The Red Cross recommends stocking an emergency preparedness kit with basic supplies, including a three-day supply of food and water for each person in your household, flashlights, extra batteries, a weather radio, a first aid kit, and a seven-day supply of medications and medical supplies. Don't forget to have extra food and supplies for your pets! Also keep printouts of your insurance and emergency information (so you're not dependent on a computer if the electricity is knocked out), as well as cash on hand. 

6. Install a home generator- A lot can go wrong when your electricity goes out and having a home generator can prevent things like pipes freezing, losing light and heat and much more.  Whether you choose an automatic generator or a portable generator, make sure they are properly installed by a professional and that you read all safety information before using. 

7. Stay warm safely- Carbon monoxide poisoning can be one of the largest winter dangers in a home.  This is caused by improper ventilation of furnaces, generators, charcoal-burning or propane-burning devices, or wood-burning stoves. Have a carbon monoxide detector on all floors of your home. If you have a chimney in your Deep Creek Lake home, be sure to have your chimney cleaned every year to avoid flammable creosote buildup, buy a sturdy screen to keep sparks in the fireplace, and dispose of ashes in a metal container.

As we find ourselves in a new year and the middle of winter, we want to help you prepare you and your home as much as possible for potential risks.  Going through these potential hazards and taking the necessary precautions can ensure you have a safe and enjoyable winter season on Deep Creek Lake!

If you don’t own a home on Deep Creek Lake, but have been considering buying one of the beautiful homes currently available; please let us know!  We would be happy to answer your questions and walk with you through the home buying process.

Patrick Kane
Sales Manager/Co-Owner
Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty
Your Deep Creek Lake Real Estate Expert

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