Going Green: The Madison Homeowner’s Guide (Part1 of 2)

With all the alarming publicity regarding the climate crisis and global warming, we should all be proud to live in and around the “green” city of Madison. Over the years, Madison has gained a reputation as a green destination, much of which is due to its population’s dedication to the maintenance and protection of the green space throughout the area. Within the City of Madison alone, you can find over 6,000 acres of parkland in almost 300 different parks! The 150+ miles of bike trails also add to the “greenness” of the city, as you can find easy ways to travel without leaving a carbon footprint.

However, are you personally doing enough for the environment? Here are some tips on how to be a greener homeowner:

  1. Madison offered the nation’s first curbside recycling program in 1968. USE IT! Recycle paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, glass, and more.
  2. Consider using solar energy. Madison is one of 13 U.S. cities that will share $2.5 million in new federal money to advance solar power projects. The city’s goal is to double solar use by 2009… and you can help!
  3. Replace your old, energy-guzzling incandescent light bulbs with new, energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs. This will even help to decrease your electric bill!
  4. Reduce your energy intake! Turn off lights when you’re not in the room, unplug appliances after use, bundle up instead of turning up the heat in the winter, and dress for the summer warmth as opposed to using wasteful air conditioning.

Prevent Your Ice From Damning

Each season’s weather is unique here in Madison; consequently we have unique concerns during each season that we need to stay on top of as homeowners. In the winter, the snow and cold temperatures can cause ice damning. It is a very common problem among Madison homeowners that has the potential to cause some serious damage to your Madison real estate investment. Ice damning occurs when the accumulated snow stays on the roof for a period of time while the temperatures remain very cold. The heat coming from the home’s roof then melts some of the snow. As this snow melts, it drains down to the soffit where it refreezes. When enough ice gathers at the soffit, a dam is formed preventing the remaining melted snow from draining off the roof. This melted snow, with no where else to go, can then back-up and go under your roof shingles. The water will then enter your Madison home and create plenty of havoc and damage that you will have to deal with in the spring.Some Good Tips to Prevent Ice Damning
1) During large snow storms, remove excess snow from your roof.
2) Eliminate leaks from your home into your attic. This will prevent your attic from getting to warm and decrease the amount of snow that will melt.
3) Make sure that all bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans are vented outside and not into the attic.
Good Luck this winter and please feel free to call me if you have any questions about preserving your Madison real estate investment.