General contractors give lots of advice on home maintenance issues and winter poses more problems than other seasons. We are always happy to answer some of the questions winter can bring from “I think my heating costs are too high.” to “I just damaged my concrete patio with deicier, what do I do now?”
One issue to consider is the damage that deicers can cause to your concrete surfaces. Be sure the product you choose to deal with snow and ice says “concrete safe.” Once the deicer has been applied and the ice has melted, remove both from your concrete surface to avoid any absorption even if you use a “concrete safe” product. Concrete, while resilient, almost acts like a blotter and the chemicals in the deicer can cause the porous surface of your concrete to become pocked or even to scale off – you will really see the damage when spring arrives.
Insulation is another winter maintenance issue. How do you know if you have enough? After a snowfall, go outside and look at your roof. Is the snow melting more quickly off yours than your neighbor’s roof’s? If so, your insulation is not sufficient. Your energy costs are rising right up and out of your house (as we all know, heat rises). Ideally, your attic temperature should be roughly equal to the outside temperature. Also, if you roof is melting unevenly, you may need to supplement your insulation. Watching the pattern over several weather events will help you compare what is happening to your roof compared to others nearby and help you determine if you really are paying too much for heating and cooling.
A general contractor can assess your current insulation and make suggestions for improvement. After all, you may need a total assessment of not just your insulation, but also your heat and air system, your roof and other home improvements you could make.