Winter the most wonderful time of the year, a period of peace to enjoy the crisp calmness. However, a combination of snow, ice, water, and wind can have devastating impacts on your home as well as your household’s budget this season. Your home is susceptible to significant water damage any time of the year, but in winter, the effects are heightened.
As it gets colder, freezing pipes expand, and the cold temperature often forces pipe seals to break or crack, and in a matter of minutes, your home can be exposed to significant water damage. Fortunately for you, there are precautions you can take to avoid unplanned expenses and inconveniences caused by winter damage, and even help you save on heating costs.
Tips for winterizing your home this season:
Protect your pipes
Its common knowledge that water expands as it freezes, meaning if there is water inside your pipes, it will, too, forcing your pipes to burst or seals to break. Your pipes will also burst if water pressure builds up behind a chunk of ice, which is why it is a good idea to leave your faucets dripping when the weather is cold. A burst pipe can lead to massive water damage on your property.
The following steps will help winterize your pipes and potentially avoid catastrophic water damage:
- Drain water from all outdoor sprinklers and faucets with the use of foam insulators.
- Protect all water pipes running through unheated areas of your home that have insulation, especially those that run in your garage, attic, and basement.
- Disconnect and store all outdoor hoses
Pro tip: Find out the location of your water shutoff valve and if you can turn it off in case of an emergency. Its normally buried near the road or located in your basement.
Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams will form when heat escapes through your roof melting snow that’s grouped there. The melted snow will flow to the edge of your roof and refreeze, normally at the eaves. These icicles are normally a sign of an ice dam underneath. The main problem here is when the snow later melts, it won’t be able to properly drain. In most cases, the melted ice will drain through a leak in your roof, causing water damage in your home. Fortunately for you, the following simple steps before temperatures drop below zero will go a long way in preventing ice dams.
- Clean all clogged gutters to keep water flowing freely. A clogged gutter is the leading cause of ice dams.
- Check to ensure you have sealed all areas that may allow warm air to leak in from your home to your attic; these include areas around exhaust fans, vent pipes, attic hatches, chimneys, and light fixtures.
- Make sure all soffit vents located along the eaves of your house allow air to flow are clear.
In case you have experienced problems with ice dams in the past, and you feel you might go through the same this year, take the following additional steps:
- Hire a professional to install a heat cable along the eaves to help melt ice.
- Install snow and ice slides to help prevent snow and ice from bonding on your roof.
- Install a rubber ice and water shield under your roof shingles about three to six feet back from your eaves.
- Add more insulation to your attic floor.
Contact us today in case you need a professional specialist to winterize or restore your water damaged home. Our technicians will be more than glad to help you winterize your home this season.