Whether you live in Negaunee, Ishpeming, Gwinn, or Marquette, snow removal is simply a part of life. As we collectively prepare for the first flurries of the year, it’s time to consider the importance of snow pile location and whether you should consider hiring snow removal services to protect your home from damage.
When Snow Becomes a Problem
We Yoopers absolutely LOVE the snow. Whether you’re a cross country skier, snowmobiler, snowboarder, snowshoer, or simply enjoy gazing out the window on a blustery day with a warm mug of cocoa, snowfall can be a blessing. But snow can also be a curse. Let’s take a look at some of the ways snow can damage your home if not adequately mitigated:
- Flooding. Large temperature swings in late winter/early spring can cause snow piles to melt quickly. If you place snow piles too close to your home, this could be the perfect recipe for a flooded basement.
- Water damage. Flooding and water damage go hand-in-hand. If you forget about snow removal, you could end up with warped boards, damp drywall, ruined mementos, and unexpected construction projects.
- Mold. Mold is the major concern when considering water intrusion as it can be incredibly dangerous to the health of your family and pets. Mold infestations are especially hazardous to those who are immunocompromised or have asthma. In fact, according to a study funded by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), of the 21.8 million people with asthma in the United States, roughly 4.6 million cases are thought to be attributable to mold exposure and dampness in the home.
The bottom line is this: snow removal can save your home and belongings from damage while also protecting your real estate investment once it comes time to sell.
Snow Removal Guidelines
Now it’s time to talk about mitigating potential property damage associated with snow piles and ice.
Snow Piles. The solution is quite simple, really. If you’re piling snow up anywhere on your property after shoveling or snow blowing, make sure to keep it at least 5 feet from your home’s foundation. A good rule of thumb is to start near the house and shovel your way towards the road. This ensures any snow piles won’t cause water intrusion issues when the temperature fluctuates. If you live on a hill, be sure that snow is piled in an area that will cascade the melt away from the home, and if your city doesn’t provide snow removal – it may be time to start hunting for a snow removal service before they get booked up for the winter.
The State of Michigan actually has codes related to snow removal to protect the safety of your community and drivers. Please review them here before settling on a snow removal plan for your property.
Roof Safety. Depending on the pitch of your roof, you may need to hire a snow removal service to shovel your rooftop. As a Marquette home inspector, I’ve seen the damage that D.I.Y. roof shoveling jobs can cause to the integrity of your shingles. The money you save on doing it yourself may cost more money down the road if you need an unexpected roof repair come spring. When considering roof snow removal, don’t forget the gutters! To prevent build-ups of snow and falling ice, be sure to clean out any leaves from your gutter system before winter sets in.
Should You Hire Snow Removal Professionals?
Ultimately, this decision should be made based upon several factors—the first being whether your city provides curb-side snowbank removal. Marquette, for example, provides such a service, but in some other cities, this may not be an option. If you live in Gwinn, Negaunee, or Ishpeming – be sure to contact your city hall to inquire further about city-wide snow removal efforts.
Here are the top 6 benefits of hiring a professional snow removal service:
- It saves you time in the morning and on days off
- You don’t have to invest in expensive equipment like snow blowers
- You can avoid snow shoveling related injuries like back pain, a strained neck, and overexertion
- Professional snow removal can reduce your liability for slipping accidents on your property
- The snow will be moved to an area that is safe for the structure and integrity of your home once the spring melt starts
Does Your Home Have Snow Melt Damage?
If you’re wondering whether snowmelt has caused damage to your home, there’s one easy way to get the answers you seek. Simply schedule a home maintenance inspection today with U.P. Home Inspection LLC. All winter, we’ll be on the ground helping our Yooper neighbors and friends ensure their home is a safe, dry place of refuge from the inclement weather we are all sure to face.