The winter season is officially here and at the time of this writing, the daily high temperature has fallen below the freezing mark. The threat of snow and ice will be top of mind for the Northeast, including coastal Delaware, for the next several weeks.
Without some well-informed preventive measures, winter weather can cause serious damage to various parts of your home. Here are 3 things you can do to help prevent winter weather damages and ensure the structural strength and longevity of your home.
Protect Your Roof
Freezing temperatures and inclement weather can cause damage to different parts of your roof. When caring for your roof this winter season, pay close attention to the gutters, shingles, and overall roof structure.
As the snow melts from your roof, it can pool at the edge and freeze over to form an ice dam. Not only can the ice buildup damage shingles, but the weight can pull gutters from the roofline. Another common, related concern is freezing snow and ice inside gutters and downspouts. Using gutter guards is a great way to prevent ice and snow from collecting and blocking the safe passage of water away from your home.
You’ll also want to inspect your roof regularly for any broken or missing shingles. High winds during a winter storm can tear off shingles and allow moisture to penetrate beneath the protective layers of your roof. Keep in mind that interior condensation can occur during winter, caused by excessive moisture and humidity in the home. A compromised roof can raise moisture levels and therefore increase the risk of mildew and mold growth.
Tip: After a snowstorm, make sure to safely remove snow and ice from your roof to help prevent cumulative damage from melted snow and ice. For more information, check out our article on safe snow removal.
Prevent Damage to Your Siding
Your home’s siding is often its first line of defense against inclement weather. High winds during a winter storm carry ice and other debris that can damage your home’s exterior, causing paint to peel or siding to lift and warp. Similar to roof damage, damage to siding allows moisture inside and leaves your home susceptible to mildew and mold growth.
While you can’t wrap a protective sheath around your home during a storm, you can still take preventive measures, like keeping an eye out for weak, damaged trees or tree limbs that may need to be removed. Branches are easily tossed around by the wind and can dent or tear your siding.
Tip: Clean up any loose objects or debris around your home before a storm in anticipation of fierce winds. While you may not be able to prevent the impact of ice and snow, securing loose objects can help protect your siding from rips, dents, or other damage.
Fend Off Pipe Bursts
During the winter season, the pipes inside and outside the home are vulnerable to freezing. The parts of your plumbing system exposed to the elements run the greatest risk of freezing and bursting, but pipes inside the home are susceptible, too. If the internal temperature of the home falls, water in the pipes can freeze and expand, causing pipes to crack or burst.
Burst pipes, inside or outside the home, are serious and expensive damage for any homeowner. Internal pipes can spray water that can seep into your home’s structure and may lead to mold and mildew growth behind walls. External pipes can burst and spray water onto your pavement, foundation, and other nearby surfaces. This water can freeze to ice that may cause cracks in your foundation or siding.
Tip: There are many ways to prevent pipe bursts inside and outside your home. Keep the inside of your home at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure water inside your pipes can’t freeze. For pipes outside the home, cover, insulate, and close off exposed pipes. You can also use heat tape or heat cables to help regulate temperatures.
Here at Advance Inc., we work tirelessly to provide excellent service and reliable resources for our customers and communities. We understand how stressful home repairs or projects can be, especially in the winter season when unexpected weather-related damages can occur.