Windbreaks are dense rows of trees and shrubs designed to reduce wind speed before it reaches a building. These landscape elements provide numerous other perks for the homeowner, their neighborhood and the environment.
Some of the advantages provided by windbreaks, beyond simple wind mitigation, include the following.
The best windbreaks block wind close to the ground by using fast-growing trees and shrubs that have low crowns. Deciduous trees, while they are favored as shade trees during the summer, lose their leaves in cold weather, which makes them less effective than evergreens at stopping the frigid winter wind. The best choices are dense, fat, fast-growing conifers that will mature to a height higher than the roof. These qualities may be found with Norway, white and Colorado blue spruce.
Tips that inspectors can pass on to their clients:
by Nick Gromicko
Yiyr house acts differently during every season. During the winter months there are several areas to look at to improve home efficiency and fix problems.
Roof - Your roof has quite a story that it can tell. Some of these sill be discussed below.
Look at the areas where snow sits on it, referred to as the decking, is there a spot that has no snow on it but the rest of the decking does? This could be a sign of heat loss in that particular area. Attic insulation that has moved because of a mouse or warm interior air escaping around a recessed light.
Ice dams are a major problem when it comes to winter and the integrity of a roof. An ice dam forms when snow on the roof melts and then refreezes as it gets to the eaves which are colder. Although it makes pretty looking icicles, it is creating pretty ugly damage underneath. That water and ice is flowing backwards up the roof and under the shingles and rotting the wood.
Snow buildup is another sign that home inspectors look for. Does the house that i am looking at have more, less, or about the same as the houses around it. More snow tells that there is not much heat loss coming thru the roof. Little or no snow conpared to the others around it could mean there is a large amount of heat being lost.
Keep up to date as we will talk about more things to look for during the winter months, either on your own house or a house you are looking to purchase.