As winter prepares to head your way, it's important to protect your home against winter storm damage. Wind, ice, snow and sleet can cause real damage to homes, which is why it's best to know what the risks are before it's too late. Let ServiceMaster Restore help you get ready for harsh winter weather with our expert guide to getting your home prepped and protected this season.
Types of Winter Storm Damage
A nice winter snowfall may seem idyllic, but winter weather can also pack a severe punch. With individual weather events capable of causing billions of dollars in damage, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, you'll want to know the different ways that cold-weather catastrophes can impact your residence. As a homeowner, the major ones to watch out for are damage to your roof and gutters as well as water damage due to snowmelt.
1. Roof Damage from Wind
This happens when the wind blows shingles loose or takes off gutters. The resulting damaged areas can let in moisture from sleet, snow, rain and meltwater. If this happens to a part of the roof that you can't easily see, you may not even realize that you've experienced damage until the water starts coming in.
- What To Do: Inspect your roof before a storm comes and make necessary repairs. Clean gutters of all debris. Keep tarps handy as a temporary fix in case shingles blow loose, but get a professional onsite as quickly as possible to address lasting damage.
2. Roof Collapse from Heavy Snow
You might assume you can just wait on snow to melt from your roof, but it turns out that as little as two feet of packed snow can be enough to cause a roof collapse, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. In places where it's too cold for snow to melt between storms, this can add up to a recipe for major roof damage.
- What To Do: Make sure your roof is winter-ready before a storm hits. A professional can help you understand where you might need some maintenance. After a storm, make arrangements to remove snow from the roof. It's unwise to do this yourself, so reach out to pros who have the know-how and safety equipment to work on the pitch of your roof and around ice.
3. Gutter Collapse from Ice
If enough ice forms in your gutters, the weight will yank them right off your home. Even absent a major storm, enough accumulating sleet, rain and cold temperatures can cause a dangerous amount of ice to build up in your gutters.
- What To Do: Keep gutters clean before storms hit, so that water can easily drain out. During spells of cold weather, a professional can help you with defrosting techniques. If icicles form, safely knock them off and make sure they're out of the way.
4. Water Damage from Snowmelt
As snow melts, your home becomes at risk of water damage, mold and a host of other problems. A foot of snow can turn into an inch or more of water, and any roof damage you've incurred during or before the latest snowstorm becomes an open invitation for water to damage your attic, upper floors, walls and insulation.
- What To Do: Remove snow from your roof immediately after a storm with help from a professional. If you experience leaks, put tarps down and buckets under drips to protect floors and other parts of your home as much as possible before calling in a professional water damage restoration service for help.
A few preventive measures can help you avoid serious winter storm damage to your roof or home,. If your home suffers this winter, the experts at ServiceMaster Restore are available with weather damage cleanup services to get your residence safe and comfortable again. We're here 24/7/365, so reach out us if you need us, and be sure to stay warm and safe at home this winter.