Winter house upkeep: Clear snow from roof, change furnace filter to organize for snow, chilly

CHICAGO (WLS) – Given the coldest conditions in Chicago in two years, homeowners are hoping what happened at the Aragon Ballroom a few days ago doesn’t hit them.

SEE ALSO | The wall of the Aragon Ballroom falls under the weight of the snow

“If you have heat from your house and it heats snow and melts into the edge of the roof, you could have a big problem,” said Kevin Neuhaus of Hanson Roofing.

Hanson Roofing has been around for three generations and has 10 crews who clear snow roofs that are heavier than more snow from freezing rain, then temperatures drop and cement everything, often in ice dams.

“When this ice dam gets bigger and bigger, it starts to collect at the back and behind it it starts to work its way up under the shingles that throw off the water,” explained Neuhaus. “Once that’s oversaturated, it starts to leak inside the house and cause problems.”

This is especially a problem with flat roofs, but the sloped variety is also susceptible. The interior heating will be activated in the next few days, which makes the problem even worse – and other service providers are busy before the freezer.

SEE ALSO | More snow is expected in the Chicago area, then bitterly cold

“We still do a lot of maintenance, a lot of people try to plan the weekend in advance and make these routine adjustments,” said Bronson Shavitz of Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning.

Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning is another family business that has also been around for three generations. They say that maintenance is key to heating reliability. And in years of work, Shavitz said a clean oven filter was now the right preparation for what’s to come.

“It’s like putting an N-95 mask on this oven and telling it to jump on the treadmill 3-4 days in a row,” Shavitz said.

Like Hanson Roofing, Shavitz said that the best part of the continuing cold is dedicated consumers. Because let’s be honest: Most people neither want to go up on their roofs, nor do they know a lot about how their heating systems work.

“You know, look at this component, see how old it is, and you know this is our recommendations,” Shavitz said. “The more we can do this and help educate the homeowner, the better it will be for everyone.”

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