This winter has been a hard one with polar vortexes and record snow topped only by plummeting temperatures. All this inclement weather can actually do permanent damage to your home in many unexpected ways. Here are some tips on how you can prevent your home from falling victim to the winter chills.
Check your coverage:
Remember that your insurance won’t cover damage they deem to be preventable. You should take every precaution to prevent damage so that your policy remains valid. Check that your policy covers winter storm damage and update it as required.
These occur when warm air from the home melts snow on your roof. Without anywhere to go, the water freezes at nights and creates an ice dam. These expand over time and can push up under the shingles to cause leaks and damage to your roofing. Prevent ice dams by ensure that your gutters are clear of debris and installing a gutter guard. Insulate your attic floor to prevent warm air from your house escaping and ensure that the attic is ventilated to keep it cool.
This is one of the most common (and most expensive) winter issues. Keep outside pipes insulted to prevent busting. If your heat turns off unexpectedly, leave taps open slightly so that the water can trickle through until you fix your heating issue.
Snow buildup on your roof can be catastrophic. Just two foot of snow on the average home can weigh 38,000 pounds or 19 tons. Remove snow safely with a roof rake; these have extendable handles so you can reach the roof safely without having to climb on a ladder or on the roof.
Icicles may result when snow melts and freezes again overnight, but if they are a regular feature during the winter you may want to check your insulation. Icicles can indicate areas where warm air from the home is leaking out through the roof. Safely remove icicles with a roof rake to prevent damage to property or people when they fall.
Clear these as soon as possible. A large snow or ice storm may cause them to break and damage your home or property.
If your pathways are slippery, make every effort to keep them clean. Injuries on your property could be expensive and the ice will damage and dislodge the paving or concrete underneath. You can start by using salt or deicer, or you can opt for environmentally friendly alternatives. Break up ice on the sidewalk and pathways and spread builder’s sand over the top to improve grip.
Ensure that your pathways and sidewalk are regularly shoveled to create a safe environment for visitors to your property. Always be safe when carrying out winter maintenance to prevent injury to yourself or damage to your property. If you can’t work safely, consider hiring a contractor to do your winter maintenance for you.