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Avoid Costly Winter Home Repairs with 5 Simple Steps from ProMaster of Cincinnati

Avoid Costly Winter Home Repairs with 5 Simple Steps from ProMaster of Cincinnati

By Don Kennedy, ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati

Winter Home Repair

Winter Home Repair

As a home repair and remodeling service provider, I am keenly aware of the damage that winter weather has on residential property.   Ice, rain, snow and wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity wreak havoc on roofs, soffits, gutters, siding, windows, doors and other components of your home.  When those components sustain water damage, they usually allow water and cold air to creep in. This cool air causes damage and deterioration to drywall, insulation, and wood. In addition, it may damage electrical, plumbing heating and cooling systems.

The good news is that many of these conditions are preventable.  The following 5 steps might save you thousands of dollars in home repair costs… but only if you take action now.

  1. Prevent Ice Dams.  What are ice dams, you say?  When large amounts of snowfall accumulate toward the edge of your roof, heat rising from the interior of the home causes some snow to melt.  As this water reaches the cold edge of the roof, it freezes and forms a damn.  Once the ice damn becomes large enough, additional snow melt backs its way up the roof, eventually finding a gap in the sheathing of your roof, damaging everything in its path.  Watch this video we did a while back on How Soffits and Fascia Are Rotted and Ruined.
  2. Protect Your Plumbing.  No, I’m not talking about eating more fiber but how to keep those pipes from freezing!  Both plastic and copper pipes are subject to freezing as outside ambient temperatures fall below 20°F, especially when positioned near the exterior of your home.  When pipes freeze, they often burst not from the ice expansion as typically understood, but the increased water pressure caused by the ice blockage.  If you need help winterizing your exterior plumbing, watch this video: How to Winterize Your Hose Bibb.  Or, check out this great article over at that offers excellent instructions on how to prevent frozen pipes.
  3. Prune Those Trees. When large limbs accumulate ice, they may break and come crashing down on your roof, take out a fence, or destroy your car.  I find it fascinating that I rarely read about this hazard in most authors’ winter home preparation tips (except those from insurance companies… go figure), yet we end up doing much of this cleanup and repair work in the Cincinnati area.  As the Emerald Ash Borer claims more trees in our area, damage to homes will only get worse from ice accumulation on dead or affected trees.  My friend Ron Rothhaas, the Arbor Doctor, has some phenomenal information on tree care, so check out his site here.
  4. Pets In, Pests Out. Even animal lovers don’t want bats, squirrels, rodents, and other wild pests as house guests.  Cold temperatures drive these creatures indoors in search of food and shelter.  In the process of clawing, chewing or burrowing their way in, they cause unbelievable damage to homes. (Kind of like in this example).  Such damage to soffits, siding, eves, and trim is usually discovered in the spring time, leading to costly home repairs on top of the bill from the wildlife removal specialist.  Here is a great site from Perdue University if you’d like to prevent a conflict with your local wildlife population.
  5. Prepare for Power Outages.  Let’s be honest: the power grid in the Cincinnati area is extremely susceptible to outages from winter weather.  That is putting it tactfully.  In my area, I typically have between 5 and 10 days per year without power.  Any time an event like this occurs, we get a ton of calls at ProMaster for sump water backup and frozen pipes stemming from the power outage.  For under $1,000, a homeowner can purchase a battery backup sump pump and small portable generator to keep their furnace running.  Such cost is a cheap insurance policy to protect your home against the next power outage.  While I’m not paid to endorse any particular product, we’ve had good luck installing The Basement Watchdog battery backup sump systems for our clients.  You can install these systems yourself–just watch the video I made for you: Prevent Basement Sump Water Flooding with a Battery Backup Sump Pump. If you need some more information on household generators, check out this website:  Electric Generators Direct.

If you heed these 5 Tips, you can save thousands of dollars in unnecessary home repairs this winter.  For additional information on preparing your home for winter in the Cincinnati area or other home repair and remodeling project, we would be happy to help.

Call (513) 724-0539

or Click here for ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman


  1. To All,

    Don't be fooled…Old Man Winter is coming to the Tri-State very soon! Stick your head up in your attic and look around. If you don't see a lot (18 – 24 inches) of fluffy insulation, come back down and take dollar bills and throw them out the front door! In all seriousness, you should have at least an R factor of 38 in your attic. The multiplier is roughly 2.2 X inches. Ex. 18 inches X 2.2 = R 39.6. Stay warm Cincinnati!

  2. Very nice checklist of things to prepare for winter, which has just arrived in the northeast the last week.


    Updated content and video links. Heeding the above advice will radically reduce your chances of getting hit with an expensive home repair bill this winter.

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