While a lot of us have visions of curling up with a fantastic book and a mug of hot chocolate by a warm fire or dusting off the ski equipment and hitting the slopes, most savvy homeowners are considering preventing winter water 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 cost of winter water damage.
Outdoor Winter Weatherization Steps
Get out those shears! It is time to trim your trees, paying special focus on dead branches. Heavy snow and ice as well as strong winter storms can split trees and tree branches which may harm your roof or siding, break windows, or damage your car in addition to possibly injure someone. Here are some tips about winter storm recovery you must know.
After the trees are cut back, get the ladder out and wash out your rain gutters. When this happens, melting ice and snow does not get diverted down the spouts as designed; rather the melted water seeps to the home, dripping 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 ice, water, or snow cannot flow through properly, the water will seep into your walls.
If your house has a crawl space, head underneath your house and checks to be sure all exposed pipes are properly insulated. Do the same for any outdoor hose bibs.
In case you have a pool or spa, hire a pool professional to winterize your system.
Indoor Winter Weatherization Measures
Now it’s time to move inside. Since frozen pipes are among the main causes of winter water damage, pay particular attention to a home’s pipes. All exposed pipes should be properly insulated. Typical places where exposed pipes can be found comprise unfinished garages, basements, mudrooms, and laundry rooms. While you’re at it, inspect these pipes for leaks and cracks.
Check and update the insulation in your home, especially in your house’s attic. A poorly insulated attic allows too much heat to escape which may subsequently cause a vicious cycle of melting and refreezing snow on your roof. This cycle may lead to ice damming which has the potential to cause water seepage or possibly a collapsed roof.
Now is a good time to get your heating system, chimney, fireplace, and wood-burning stoves professionally serviced to make sure both safeties in addition to functionality. You don’t wish to find out that your furnace is broken when it’s freezing outside. When the temperatures drop, heat the house and keep it at least 65 degrees.
Locate your pipe system’s shutoff valves and be sure that you can shut off the water quickly should your pipes burst. If necessary, maintain a pipe wrench nearby for valves that are not readily adjustable or replace the valves.
Now that you have the home prepped to prevent water damage this winter, you’re nearly ready to hit on those slopes. However, before you leave for an extended ski trip, make sure to prepare your home for the possibility of water damage while you’re out! Maintain the house heated, open under sink cabinets to permit warm air to get to the pipes, and allow your faucets to drip. If you’re going to be gone for a long time, consider getting your water system entirely drained by a professional.
Check out more tips to prepare your house for winter in this informative article. During the cold season, there is also an increased risk of power outages. Tips to prepare yourself for winter storm blackouts can be found here. For professional mold elimination, as well as water and fire restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.