Top Tips to Prevent Your Home From Water Damage This Winter
Water damage to your home can happen at any time of the year, but in winter, your home may be especially susceptible. The wet weather and freezing temperatures can cause water to leak into the nooks and crannies of your house. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent this. Here is a helpful list to guide you in keeping your home dry this winter.
Preventing Ice Dams on the Roof
Ice dams are formed when ice collects at the edges of a roof. This typically happens when the upper portion of a roof is warmer than the lower portion. Snow on the upper portion melts faster and runs down to the cooler part of the roof where it freezes again, creating an ice dam. These are problematic because they block the water from melting snow from flowing off your roof. The water can accumulate and seep into your house through tiny cracks or gaps in your roof. It can also result in mold and mildew growth on your roof.
To stop ice dams from forming, you have to ensure that all parts of your roof are equally cold. This can be done by keeping your attic well-ventilated to maintain an evenly cold temperature. You should also seal any ceiling cracks or openings that may allow warm air from other parts of your house to enter the attic.
Clearing the Gutter
Keeping the gutter clear allows water to drain down and away from your roof which also helps to keep water from collecting on your roof. This is an unappealing task but it is very important in preventing a clog. You can do it yourself with gloves, a garden trowel and a ladder. However, it may be better to get professional assistance, as this may be a bit dangerous. You can also install gutter covers to reduce the need to clear your gutter, but you should still check the gutter occasionally to ensure that it is not clogged. Leaves and other debris are most likely to collect at the corners and junctions of the gutter.
Keeping Your House Perimeter Dry
After you clear ice, snow and water from your roof and gutter, you need to make sure to keep the foundation of your house dry as well. Melting snow surrounding the perimeter of your home can seep into the soil and enter your house through cracks or leaks in your windows and doors. It can also saturate your foundation and basement walls, increasing the chances of mold forming in your home. The best solution is to shovel the snow away from your house before it melts. You can also seal up gaps or other openings in your basement wall to prevent water from seeping in.
Watching Out for Frozen Pipes
Due to the cold temperatures in winter, water in your water pipes can freeze over and lead to high internal pressure in the pipes. If the pressure continues to build up, it can be enough to rupture your pipes, causing a huge amount of water to be released in your house. To prevent frozen pipes, you can insulate water pipes located in places of your home with freezing temperatures. In especially cold temperatures, it is recommended to let your faucets drip slowly to relieve pressure in case the pipes have frozen. If where water from your pipes stops flowing completely, it is best to call a plumber as soon as possible because it is likely that the pipe has frozen.