Tis’ the season for freezing temperatures. Extreme weather can inflict big damages on homes or even create liability risks. Knowing what can happen and how to best prepare your home can keep risks of damages low. Here are some things to expect as temperatures drop and winter weather sets in.
Roof & Gutters
- Ice and your roof are not a good combination. Melting snow can run off your roof’s edges and re-freeze. This creates ice dams in your gutters and can prevent water from properly draining. Water that becomes backed up can go through a freeze and thaw cycle creating or exposing leakage points. Typically, these leaks affect drywall, ceilings, or floors. Heavy water damage can occur and that can also lead to mold and mildew risks if the damage is not taken care of immediately.
- Winds can cause heavy damage during the winter with storms battering your home. Shingles can become loose, break, or even be torn off. Overhanging or dead branches from trees can break off or slam against your home during these storms, causing more damage.
- Snow is a big concern if its weight exceeds that of your roof’s load-bearing capacity. Creaks, cracks above windows and doors, or a bowed ceiling are all indicators of risk. If not taken care of, a roof can even collapse.
Pipes, & Water Systems
- During the chilly months, we are more prone to being inside our homes and that typically means greater water consumption. This puts extra strain on pipes, drains, and water heaters. It’s no secret that pipes are one of the biggest concerns with freezing temperatures. Without proper maintenanceand preparation pipes can become frozen meaning more risk for a crack or rupture.
- Hot water heaters go through a lot of strain in cold weather. Heaters require more energy and have longer recovery times due to chilled water lines. Water temperature can tend to lag due to cold plumbing.
- Be aware of fire dangers and take proper precautions including keeping cleanings and inspections up to date. Trapped cold air can also create negative air pressure pockets that may push smoke out into a room instead of outside the chimney when a fire is lit.
- When temperatures fluctuate drastically from cold to hot, paint can begin peeling. Bonds between paint and wood or other building materials become weak with extreme changes in temperature. Paint, especially those with low quality, can crack, flake, or bubble. Color can also be affected.
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