Winter is here and if you haven’t been outside yet, take it from us, it’s a cold one. This winter in particular has already seen a good amount of ice, wind, and snow, all of which can be quite harsh on the home. Like thunderstorms and tornados, winter storms can damage your home and disable your heating or electrical systems. Even worse, winter storms can leave your family out in the cold. To prevent both structural damage and cold weather catastrophe, there are few important things you can do.
Manage Snow Accumulation
Snow accumulated around your home can lead to water damage when it melts in warmer weather. To prevent future water damage, make sure to remove excessive snow from any entry points around the perimeter of your home, such as basement cellar windows or doors.
Beyond this, it is also very important that you monitor the amount of snow that accumulates on your rooftop. Roofs are only built to hold so much weight, and if too much snow starts to pile up your roof could actually cave in. During and after winter storms, it’s important that you monitor the progression of snow accumulation on your roof. Snow tends to accumulate on the downwind or leeward side of your roof, and if it accumulates non-uniformly, i.e. just in one spot, you’re going to have a problem. If this occurs, make sure to contact a certified roofing professional or even a water damage restoration company for safe removal.
Snow Accumulation Prevention Tips
One of the best ways you can prevent snow from accumulating on your roof is to keep a well-ventilated attic. During the winter we heat our homes, and because heat rises it moves naturally toward the attic. Heated air will only reach your attic if it is properly ventilated, and in a heavy winter storm this is exactly what you want. A warm attic will work to warm your roof, and a warm roof will work to melt accumulated snow.
A warm, ventilated attic will also work to prevent the formation of ice dams. Ice dams occur when melted snow drips down your roof, only to refreeze near the edge, where it can then further prevent snow and ice from sliding off the slope of your roof. Ice dams can eventually even work their way into the interior of your home and cause significant water damage.
If you Experience a Winter Storm
If your home experiences a heavy winter storm, your family’s safety should be priority number one. During the storm, it is best to stay in your home and avoid travel. After the storm, there are a number of things you can do to minimize structural damage.
1. Make sure that your electrical and natural gas systems are intact. If you spot any shorts or leaks, shut the system down immediately and contact your provider’s emergency line.
2. Check for and repair any broken windows or breaches in the structure of your home. Temporarily board them up or seal them, to keep your home warm and to prevent further water damage.
3. Assess the structural damage that has occurred outside, around, and within your home. You may be able to take immediate action, by removing large pools of water yourself and by ventilating your home with fans. If damage is severe, you may also need to contact a water damage restoration expert.