This year winter came storming in across many cities across America, bringing with it record snowfalls and freezing temperatures.
Heavy snow and ice can accumulate around your home, causing heavy damage.
The most common damage to your home to be concerned about is interior water damage caused by ice dams.
Ice dams happen because the overhangs at the edge of your roof (called the eaves) tend to be colder than the rest of the roof. As water melts on the roof and reaches the eaves it may freeze there, creating a dam that prevents water from flowing off the roof. The water then backs up underneath the roof shingles and then seeps into your home. Icicles are a good indication that an ice dam is present.
Look for water stains or moisture in the attic or around exterior walls on the top floor of your home. Just because you have an ice dam does not mean you have water damage.
Another big problem snow and ice can create is structural damage to your home. If the snow and ice exceeds the weight bearing capacity of your roof, you could be in big trouble. Experts say flat roofs and older homes are most likely to have these problems.
Although it may differ by a variety of factors, a good rule of thumb is that if you have one foot of wet snow or ice, you should have it removed.
If you have a flat roof with safe access, you may want to simply shovel the roof. If you have a pitched roof, try using a roof rake to remove the snow. It’s not necessary to get all of it – focus on the four foot areas that are closest to the gutters.
There are professionals you can call that will remove roof snow for you. Look for home builders, landscape and roofing contractors and property management firms and always make sure you check references before hiring anyone to work on your home.
Make sure you keep the areas around your downspouts clear. This allows your gutters to properly drain when the snow begins to melt. It also helps prevent flooding around the foundation of your home.
It goes without saying that it’s important to keep sideways and driveways clear of snow and ice. This protects the safety of your guests and your family.
Freezing of water pipes are a big concern in the winter. Water pipes that break can cause extensive damage to your home. Read this blog post about how to prevent your pipes from freezing for more information. There are also water alarms which can alert you of a leak.