Winter Water Damage Prevention
Though winter months bring cooler temperatures, hot cocoa, and scenic snow landscapes, winter weather also brings increased risk of water damage to your home. Winter is notorious for being cold and wet. Many people don’t realize that larger amounts of snow and ice can have severe consequences. Below are three of the top causes of winter water damage and how to reduce your risk.
OUTDOOR WATER SOURCES
When the temperatures drop, it is important to pay attention to your outdoor water sources. Neglecting your outdoor water sources could cause problems when spring comes around.
- Shut off the water to your outdoor hoses and spigots.
- Drain any water from your hoses and store them in a climate-controlled area to prevent them from freezing, cracking, or breaking in the cold.
BURST OR FROZEN PIPES
Frozen pipes build up significant pressure which can lead to pipes cracking or bursting in winter months. If a cracked or broken pipe goes undetected, they can lead to flooding once the ice melts.
- Make sure your outer walls and any exposed pipes are properly insulated.
- Be sure to caulk cracks and holes you see in your exterior walls; this can help to prevent cold air from reaching the pipes.
- Protect exposed pipes from freezing temperatures by wrapping them with the insulating tape or old towels.
- When temperatures are extremely low, or you plan to be away from home for several days, leave the faucets lightly dripping and keep the cabinets under your sink open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. Doing so will keep water flowing and can help prevent your pipes from freezing.
- For maximum protection against hidden or sudden leaks, install a detection system that can monitor water pressure and automatically signal a water shut-off in the event of a leak or blocked pipe.
ICE DAMS AND ROOF LEAKS
Icicles may be a staple of winter, but they can be a sign that your home is in a vulnerable state. If your gutters are clogged, the snow that melts off your roof won't be able to pass through the drainage system properly. As the water trapped in your gutters refreezes, a wall of icicles will build up, eventually causing ice dams. The melt from these ice dams can damage your roof and seep into your attic, causing structural damage or mold. Any ice melt that drips over the sides of your gutters has the potential to pool next to your home's foundation and cause additional water damage. Finally, sharp icicles may break off as they melt, posing a serious safety hazard.
- Clean your gutters before cold weather comes around to keep the dangers of ice dams and roof leaks at a minimum.
CALL THE PROFESSIONALS
If you aren't able to prevent winter water damage, don't fear! SERVPRO of East York has a 24/7 emergency response team available to assist during troublesome times! Call the professionals that are faster to any size disaster at 717-665-1270.