Winter Storm Damage
Many things can happen to your home in the cold winter months. Roof collapse, frozen pipes, ice dams, icicles, and dead branches being weighted down and falling on your roof. That is just to name a few of the many disasters that can happen in the winter time.
The First thing you want to do to prepare for winter's harsh elements, isn't something that everyone thinks of. You are first going to want to check with your insurance company and make sure that you are covered for winter storm damage and if not, update it so that you are covered.
OK, let's talk about these damaging disasters that can happen if you don't properly take care of your home in the winter time.
A roof collapse can and will happen if the weight of the heavy wet snow is to much for your roof. If you don't properly shovel the sticky wet snow from your roof, it weakens your roof and the support beams that hold it up properly.
It is never recommended that you climb up on your roof yourself to do this daunting job, hire a professional to climb up there for you. If you must do it yourself, purchase a telescoping roof rake at any hardware store and clear your roof from the ground. Don't make the job more dangerous by climbing up there.
Ice Dams occur when warm air from your home melts the snow on your roof. When it doesn't have anywhere to go, the water freezes during these cold winter nights, and creates an ice dam. Ice Dams expand over time and can push up under the shingles to cause leaks and damage to your roofing.
Prevent ice dams by ensuring that your gutters are clear of debris and install a gutter guard. Always be sure that your attic floor is insulated to prevent warm air from your house escaping and also be sure that the attic is ventilated to keep it cool. If it is to warm in the attic, it will melt the snow on your roof, causing the ice dam.
Icicles are another problem that not very many people really pay attention to. Icicles form when the heat from your home seeps out your roof causing the snow to melt. As the temperatures drop, the water freezes but the warm air from your roof continues to melt the snow, making those extra large icicles you see hanging from your roof.
Icicles cause a number of problems, depending on where they are located. If they fall and land on your porch roof, they are likely to do some damage. they can also fall and break basement windows, or even worse, hit someone standing under them.
Clear your icicles from your roof as soon as you notice them, and when preparing for winters harsh elements, make sure you have insulated your attic and roof well to avoid the icicle creation entirely.
Dead branches are a major problem in the winter months. If there are branches hanging over your home, the heavy wet snow from winter storms will weigh those branches down, causing them to snap and break. This is likely to cause damage to your home when those branches fall onto your roof or even through a window.
The best and safest thing you can do is hire a professional to cut those branches away from your home before winter sets in.
Frozen pipes are one of the most common and most expensive winter disasters. Good news! It doesn't have to be!
First things first, always make sure that your heating system is working properly and that the pipes that run close to exterior walls are well insulated. If you are going away for a day or more, leave your heat on at 65 degrees or higher and have someone check on your property on a regular basis. If you are going away for a long period of time, have your water shut off at the main shut-off valve as to avoid frozen pipes all together.
During the winter months, it is always a good idea to leave your faucets in the kitchen and bathroom at a slow steady trickle and leave your cupboard doors open as to let the heat in and keep your pipes warm.