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Things to consider when the snow flies

Winter is back in upper Michigan. There are some specific challenges Realtors and those with homes for sale face here due to the heavy lake effect snow each year. I've complied a few tips based on my experieince as a Home Inspector who sees the good, the bad, and the ugly on a regular basis.
1.  GUTTERS! They should remain clear (including downspouts) or be removed, if possible in winter months. newer homes will generally have an ice dam protective membrane under asphault shingles, but older homes often do not. Snow tends to build up along the roof eaves and goes through thawing and freezing cycles, creating ice buildup (ice dam) that has nowhere to go except up  if gutters are present and plugged. In other words, the ice gets up under the shingles and as it thaws, causing leaks. Heat tape can also be used to prevent ice dams, but should be installed only to manufacturer's specifications.
2.  SECURITY!  How does one winterize the plumbing in a home in upper Michigan? One possible way would be to leave a home unoccupied and wait for someone to remove all the copper water lines. This happened three days ago to ... more

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