Preparing Winter Weather to Avoid Water Damage

Though a lot of people have visions of curling up with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate by a fire or dusting off the ski equipment and hitting the slopes, savvy homeowners are thinking about preventing winter damage. Sure, winterizing your home is a job, but it’s a chore best done earlier rather than later. After all, preventing water damage from happening in the first place will spare you the heartbreak and expense of winter water damage. 

Outdoor Winter Weatherization Measures

Get out those shears! It is time to trim your trees, paying particular focus on dead branches. Heavy snow and ice as well as strong winter winds can split trees and tree branches that can harm your roof or siding, break windows, or even damage your vehicle as well as possibly injure somebody.

Once the trees have been cut back, get out the ladder and clean out your rain gutters. When rain gutters are clogged with debris, ice dams can form. While this occurs, melting ice and snow doesn’t get diverted down the spouts as designed; rather the water seeps into the house, leaking through its walls and ceiling.

On a similar note, check the paths of windows and sliders to make sure the tracks and water drainage holes are apparent. If water, ice, or snow can’t flow through properly, the water will seep into your walls.

If your home has a crawl space, go underneath your house and check to make sure all exposed pipes are properly insulated. Do the same for any outside hose bibs.

If you’ve got a pool or spa, employ a pool specialist to winterize your system.

Indoor Winter Weatherization Steps

Now it is time to move inside. Since frozen pipes are among the main causes of winter damage, pay special attention to your home’s pipes. All exposed pipes should be properly insulated. Common areas where exposed pipes can be found include unfinished garages, basements, mudrooms, and laundry rooms. While you’re at it, inspect these pipes for cracks and leaks.

Assess and upgrade the insulation in your home, especially in your home’s attic. A poorly insulated loft allows a lot of heat to escape which can subsequently result in a vicious cycle of melting and refreezing snow on your roof. This cycle can cause ice damming that has the capacity to cause water seepage or even a collapsed roof.

Now is a good time to get your heating system, fireplace, chimney, and wood-burning stoves professionally serviced to make sure both safeties as well as functionality. You do not wish to find out that your furnace is broken when it is freezing outside. When the temperatures fall, heat the house and keep it at least 65 degrees.

Locate your plumbing system’s shutoff valves and be sure that you can shut off the water quickly if your pipes burst. If needed, maintain a pipe wrench near valves that aren’t easily flexible or replace the valves.

Now you have the house prepped to prevent water damage this winter, you’re nearly ready to hit on those slopes. But before you leave for an extended ski trip, be sure to prepare your house for the possibility of water damage while you’re out! Maintain the home heated, open under sink cabinets to allow warm air to get to the pipes, and permit your faucets to drip. If you’ll be gone for quite a while, consider having your water system completely drained by a professional. Click here to learn more.

Check out more information to prepare your property for winter in this article. During the cold season, there’s also an increased risk of power outages. Ideas to prepare yourself for winter storm blackouts can be found here. For professional mold removal, as well as water and fire restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office or visit them here.