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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Winter is here! Protect your Tahoe Home from Water Damage following Snow Storms

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Icicles from home gutters Icicles are a sign of Ice Dams which can cause major damage to your home.

When winter sets in, storm damage is a big possibility.

Winter storms are often accompanied by water damage. For instance, frozen pipes may burst during arctic temperatures, heavy snow piles on a roof can cause it to collapse, Ice dams can build on your gutters, trees can fall etc. Knowing what you can do to try and prevent damage from winter storms is important. Such as keeping tree branches trimmed and away from your house. Getting weaknesses in your roof or siding fixed. Keeping gutters clear, so that water and melted snow can drain away instead of freezing and forming ice dams. Below is a more in-depth info on some contributing factors of winter storm damage and tips on how you can try and prevent them.

  1. Your Roof

Heavy or constant wind can blow shingles loose or take off gutters. If damage like this occurs, it will let in moisture from sleet, snow, rain and melt water into your home. Sometimes damage can occur to a part of your roof that you can't easily see, meaning you may not even realize that damage has been caused to it until after water starts coming in to your home.

Make sure your roof is winter-ready BEFORE a storm hits. Allow ample time for this prior to the season so that anything needing repair can be fixed before winter storms arrive. Inspecting your roof before a storm comes and making necessary repairs can often help to avoid storms from taking their toll on your roof. Clean all your gutters of any debris often, especially prior to a storm. Tarps if you have them offer a temporary fix in case any shingles loosen or blow off, but it is best to get a professional over as quickly as possible in order to address any damage before it worsens or leads to more issues. A professional can help you understand where you might need some preventative maintenance.

After a storm, you may need to arrange to have snow removed from your roof. As little as two feet of packed snow can be enough to cause a roof collapse. So, if it’s going to be too cold for snow to melt in between storms, or if one storm is expected to “dump” a lot more snow on top if what is already there, than that can lead to major roof damage. Reach out to professionals who have the knowledge, experience and proper safety equipment to work on the pitch of your roof and around ice.

  1. Your Gutters

Don’t forget about your gutters! Especially when tending to your roof. You want to ensure that your gutters stay clean and clear all year long but it is most important before any size winter storm hits to ensure that they are ready for it. If ice forms on your gutters the weight can cause them to fall right off of your home. Even without a major amount of snow, any accumulation of sleet or rain in cold temperatures can lead to a build up of ice in your gutters. Clean gutters allow water to easily drain out. As the weight of ice alone can cause damage, it is also for that reason to ensure your gutters are cleared so that additional weight on them is not a concern.

Ice is not the only concern, but ice dams. “Ice Dams” form when heat escapes from your home causing ice to melt along your roof and allowing it to drip to the edges and refreeze. Usually this causes icicles, which as pretty as they are, they are a sign that you’ve got a dangerous ice dam.

The best protection against the formation of ice dams is insulation. Prepare to prevent ice dams by sealing any gaps from light fixtures. That will help to keep warm air from rising into your attic. Also, it is best to insulate the attic itself to prevent heat from escaping out to your roof. Experts suggest keeping the attic temperatures no greater than 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air.

Make certain too that your gutters are pointed away from your home. That way as any ice melts it lessons that chance of water pooling close by to your foundation, or flowing towards the side of your home which can allow water to seep into any cracks.

  1. Tree Branches

Low, or overhanging branches will most likely break during winter storms. While the appearance of snow on branches is pretty, the weight of the snow and ice weighs heavily on the branches below. Heavy, falling tree branches can damage your roof or other parts of your home. Any nearby power lines can also sustain damage if tree branches are not maintained and tumble below as a result of winter storms.

Trim all tree branches that surround your home in order to protect against damage. Be proactive by pruning all dead, broken and weakened branches as soon as they are spotted. Survey trees on your property often to look for broken or weak branches and also to try and determine the health and stability of the tree itself. Entire trees not only branches can come down due to winter storms by high winds or the weight of ice and snow. Trees that are not healthy are more susceptible to come down, becoming a major cause of damage.

In addition to the weight of ice and snow, melting snow as it puddles below ground can weaken tree roots causing trees to fall over. Unfortunately that can happen no matter how healthy a tree is.

  1. Snow Melting

Aside from just being able to cause trees to fall over, as snow melts, it poses a risk of water damage, such as flooding and mold to your home. As snow melts, a foot of snow can turn into an inch or more of water. Mold growth from moisture or flooding can happen quickly! Melting snow getting into your home can cause structural damage, like warping, floor separation and discoloration.

No matter what the cause of winter water damage to your home, at SERVPRO, our dedicated team of professionals are available to effectively evaluate and quickly repair the damage. We can be reached 24/7, 365 days a year at (775) 588-2355. Be sure to give us a call in order to assist you.

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