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Posted on January 23, 2016 - 11:17 AM
by Kristi Jacobs Woods
Well, go figure. They got this one pretty much exactly as forecast, and #Jonas2016 was just as promised here in the greater central Maryland area! With the 24” of snow already here in most locales--and more snow likely still to come as the storm continues--typical issues you might encounter at home include ice damming, gutter problems, HVAC inefficiencies and malfunctions, blocked plumbing/air vents on your roof (those short vertical pipes that most people don't even notice!), and general snow loads heavier than typical engineering and local building codes require for your roof, your porches, gazebos, pergolas, and more.
There is probably not much you can safely do if/when some of these problems occur, but there are certainly some things to be paying attention to as you weather the storm and shelter in place:
Shovel a path around your home to your exterior HVAC unit and clear a good 18" area around it, and clear off any snow/ice on top of it
Clear snow away from your gas meter/lines
Step back and take a good look at your roof/porch lines and monitor them for potential problems—uneven melting (indicating insulation issues that can lead to ice dams, etc), large drifts, sagging roof lines or cupping shingle edges, gutters coming loose, etc.
Check your highest floor interior ceilings for any signs of active water penetration that might result from ice damming, particularly around light fixtures and corners where water tends to initially pool--bubbles, ripples, discoloration, etc.
Monitor your interior doors--if they seem suddenly snug or don’t open/close as easily as they used to, that’s also a strong sign the snow load is not carrying properly.
Some additional links to useful information for now and the future: