Living in Northwest Indiana, you never know what to expect when it comes to good ole Mother Nature- especially during the winter months. While this has been a mild winter thus far, the cold temperatures combined with the snow, rain and sleet we experienced earlier this week, reaped havoc on the region. Many were left without power and wet homes.
Learn More: Prepare Your Home for Cooler Temps in 5 Steps
There are many steps to take to properly avoid winter water damages during a major winter storm or deep freeze.
6 Ways to Avoid Winter Water Damages
1. Prevent Ice Damming
An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof when heat from inside melts the snow on the roof, causing the water to run down and freeze at the roof’s edge. The ice dam blocks water from draining properly and eventually forces the water into your home.
Take these precautions to prevent ice damming:
- Clean out gutters- remove leaves, sticks and any other debris that could potentially lead to clogging of the gutters
- Install gutter guards to prevent debris from entering
- Make sure your attic is well ventilated- if the attic is cold there will be less melting and freezing on the roof
- Keep the attic floor well insulated to limit the amount of heat that rises through the attic from the inside of the house
When it comes to winter weather, insulation is one the best ways of preventing damage to your home.
Take these precautions when insulating your home:
- Insulate pipes that are in exterior walls, crawlspaces, or attics
- Insulating the attic floor helps to prevent ice dams from forming
3. Beware of Melting Snow and Ice
One of the most common causes of water in basements is the ever changing temperatures of a Northwest Indiana winter. Throughout our winters, snow forms and melts many times which causes large flooding. Snow forms around the outer perimeters of our homes and when it melts, it causes a flooding mess inside our homes.
Take these precautions when dealing with melting snow and ice:
- Shovel large amounts of snow away from your house
- Fill and fix any cracks in your foundation wall to prevent water from entering your home
- Make sure that your gutters are working properly and leading water away from the foundation
4. Make Sure Your Sump Pump Works
A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has gathered in a water collecting basin. Sump pumps are used when the water table is above the foundation of a home to send water away from the house to prevent flooding of crawlspaces and basements. Sump pumps often fail when the ground is warm and large amounts of snow or water from melting snow. Sump pumps cannot keep up with the water or the home looses power and cause the pump to malfunction.
Take these precautions to make sure your sump pump works:
5. Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen water in pipes can cause pressure to build leading to pipes bursting. Pipes in crawl spaces, attics, or exterior walls can be susceptible to freezing.
Take these precautions to prevent frozen pipes.
- Make sure all pipes that are in exterior walls of your home are properly insulated
- Any exposed pipes should be fit with insulation sleeves
- If you plan to be away for more than four days, arrange for someone to monitor the heat in your home
- During cold spells, keep doors to cabinets that house plumbing open to allow heat to circulate in the cabinets
6. Protect Vulnerable Exterior Spots
Well maintained roofs and walls are the ideal protection from the brutal cold and changing weather patterns.
Take these precautions to protect vulnerable exterior spots.
- Make sure roof shingles are securely fastened to avoid water from entering from the weak spot in your roof
- Always check your masonry for cracks, even a small crack can allow water to get in and travel wherever the chimney does
Sometimes even when the proper precautions are taken, the winter weather can get the best of our homes- that’s when it’s important to have the number of a professional Water Restoration company on hand! AmeriClean is proud to serve our customers 24/7 and are only one call away.
Learn More: I’ve Had A Water Damage, Now What?
About AmeriClean, Inc.
AmeriClean, Inc was established in 1986 by Bob Eriks in a small warehouse as a provider of Fire Damage Restoration for Northwest Indiana. Fast forward to today and AmeriClean’s services include Carpet, Upholstery, Air Duct, Area Rug, Ceramic Tile Cleaning; as well as: Water Damage Restoration, Fire Damage Restoration and Mold Remediation. With 30 years of experience, AmeriClean, Inc. is now a leading name in residential and commercial properties for cleaning and restoration needs. For more information, visit our website or call 800.654.9101.