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Frequently Asked Questions About Winterizing

Why is concrete maintenance so important?

If moisture is able to get through the cracks and under the concrete, winter weather will destroy it. The freezing and thawing that occurs during the harsh winter months can accelerate the decay by causing shifting, and creating more cracks beyond the control lines (the grooves carved into concrete that divides it up into sections).

The average cost to replace concrete in the Omaha area can range from $10-$16.50/sqft. That means a normal two lane area can cost between $8,000-$13,200 to replace. Unlike other exterior materials, unless concrete is part of the building structure, it is not covered by insurance if any type of weather related damage occurs. Backer rod and joint sealant is the best products to use in order to keep the driveway looking good and it helps prevent weeds from growing through the cracks as well.

How do ice dams occur?

Ice dams are caused by snow melting from heat escape inside the attic. This water will travel down the roof until the temperature is back below freezing, which is at your overhang. When this process repeats several times, you now have a thick block of ice that is putting a large amount of strain on your overhangs, which can be the weakest point of your roof structure.

What damage can ice dams cause and how can I prevent them?

When the ice dam builds up, it can allow water to travel up and behind the shingle, which can allow water to leak back into the attic. If it is able to enter back into the home it can be financially devastating when you add up the cost to repair drywall damage and other issues it may cause. The best way to deal with this problem is to prevent them before they occur. I would schedule a free needs analysis right away to determine what is causing the problem and determine the most cost effective solution.

Why attic foil?

Attic foil is not a substitute for the code required R-38 in attic spaces. The foil will work in conjunction with the insulation to help energy loss and prevent radiant heat transfer. This combination can help prevent ice dams from occurring, in addition to the obvious energy savings.

Why caulk around windows and doors?

A 1/16th of an inch gap over five feet, can be equivalent to removing a brick from the home in relation to energy loss. An average home can have 18 or more windows and door openings, which is a lot of energy loss when you do the math. This process should be completed every 1-3 years depending on the quality of product you use.

Why insulate my copper pipes?

Pipe insulation is intended to not only help prevent heat loss through your hot water pipe as it makes its journey to its intended destination, but also help prevent cold water pipes from bursting during the winter months. It also helps keep the cold water cold while helping to prevent “sweating” in the summer months.

Why should I insulate around my exterior wall outlets?

During the construction of a home an ideally all wall voids would be filled with the appropriate amount of insulation. Unfortunately, outlets boxes will take up sections of this valuable insulation area, preventing a maximum R-value. If the home was not wrapped with an air infiltration barrier when it was constructed, it can create an additional potential energy loss pain point. If the cavity allows it, minimal expansion foam around the outlet box and an insulation pad are the best solutions to this issue.

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About the Author

Nick Thompson, Home & Office Enhancements
8402 N 44th St.
Omaha, NE 68112

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