Residents can help themselves in staying warm and safe during frigid weather

The threat of roof damage isn't that great yet, an expert says.

Posted on Jan. 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 6, 2014 at 4:58 p.m.

GOSHEN — With inches and inches of snow and subzero temperatures, how should local residents protect their homes and stay warm?

According to local heating and roofing companies, there are a few things people can do to make sure they stay warm and their homes hold up throughout the cold and snow.

When temperatures drop this low, the main priority is heating.

Ron Yoder, president of Yoder-Stutzman Inc. in Nappanee, said the main thing residents should do is make sure their furnace filters are not dirty to allow for the best air flow possible.

Yoder said one of the most common problems during very cold, snowy times has to do with frozen exhaust vents.

He said that’s generally a simple problem to fix and residents can handle it themselves by clearing snow away from the vents and melting any ice that may have accumulated.

Yoder said his business had not received many emergency calls Monday in the wake of Sunday’s storm. Much of what the business dealt with Monday were electronic components breakdowns.

The story was not quite the same in Goshen, where employees of Goshen Plumbing and Heating were working most of the day.

But besides furnaces, local residents should also keep an eye on their roofs.

Myron Hathaway, owner of Unique Siding and Remodeling in Goshen, said the snow so far has not been enough to warrant fears about the weight, but residents should remain alert if temperatures stay low and more snow falls.

“Another foot or so, you’d want to consider getting some of that off,” he said, but weight isn’t a major concern right now.

The bigger worry now when it comes to roofs is the formation of ice dams.

Ice dams are formed when snow thaws underneath shingles. A pattern of thawing and freezing could lead to icicles forming underneath which could then lead to water leaking into the house, he said.


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