Winter is not far off and you need to start preparing now. We call this winterizing the home. The chances of water damage tend to increase during winter; of course this can be credited to the snow, ice and rain that characterize the season.
Water damage can be kept at bay even with the sudden influx of ice. Water damage during winter is usually very sneaky, as the frozen water works its way slowly into your structure. The damage can be extensive.
Preventing Water Damage During Winter
Below are some of the precautionary measures you need to take:
- Insulate the home
- Ensure that there is sufficient ventilation
- Clear walkways
- Install snow shields
- Install gutter screens
The first thing you need to do is to insulate your home. This does not mean simply insulating the pipes— it should include all openings, cracks and gaps that can attract water and frost, including the doors, windows, exhaust ducts, attic openings and more. These gaps expand with the accumulation of frost, making them bigger than they were. They also jack up your utility bills, due to heating. While you seal off your home, you also need to ensure that you proper ventilation in and around your home. You also need adequate air flow for which you may need to consult with a professional. The ice that forms on trees weakens tree branches which can fall and damage your property, cars or people. If you live in an ice storm-prone area, the frozen water could form major layers, causing even more destruction. We recommend you to trim the trees in and around your home, right before winter.
Next task, clear the walkways; the ice could not only cause a fall but also begin to slowly access your basement and lead to water damage. Snow shields are great since they prevent water from backing up on your roof, hence no water leaks. Gutter screens are also an important addition; they help prevent leaves and debris from accumulating. They also protect the gutters from getting damaged.
Inspecting Your Roof for Signs of Winter Damage
The roof is one of the most affected parts of your home during winter. You need to closely monitor your roof for damage during the wet season, by looking for the following signs:
- Ceiling discoloration or water stains
- HVAC leaks
- Damp walls
- Wall cracks
- Deteriorated ventilation pipes
You need to inspect the home’s interior and exterior as well. For that purpose, you need to carefully look for changes in the roofing tiles, gutters and shingles. Besides that, inspect your home for signs of leakage. Remember, this kind of water damage is slow so you need to be extra cautious with spotting the signs of leakage.
Taking on a proactive role is essential and could save you a lot of expenses. It’s never too early to start making your home winter-proof.