Winter can wreak havoc on your home if you’re not well-prepared. Snow, ice, high winds, heavy rain, and freezing temperatures can affect numerous structures throughout your property. To help prevent extensive structural damage to your roof, windows, doors, and even your basement, it is critical that you pay close attention to these areas throughout the winter.
At Kiser Construction, our disaster restoration specialists have put together this brief overview of some of the most common winter household issues to watch for.
Water Damage on Your Roof
As heavy snow accumulates on top of your home, it can compromise the structural integrity of your roof, which can lead to water damage. Ice dam formation is another common roof issue that can cause water to seep beneath your shingles and damage your roof. In either case, prompt removal of the buildup can almost always alleviate the danger of roofing damage.
Since ice dams are notoriously difficult—and often dangerous—to remove, contact an ice dam removal company to steam off the existing buildup. For snow removal, you can use a roof rake or shovel to remove buildup around the edges of your roof. You don’t have to scrape the roof clean, but try to eliminate as much buildup as possible on the first few feet of the roof’s slope.
Window and Door Water Damage
Improperly sealed windows and doors can accumulate moisture around wooden doors and window frames. Significant fluctuations in temperature can also cause condensation to build around window frames, potentially resulting in wood damage and rot.
To prevent these issues, seal your windows and doors with caulk or epoxy filler as early as possible. You can’t apply these sealants while moisture is present, so try to get this done before heavy precipitation hits.
During winter, your pipes are much more susceptible to damage than they are during the summer. On the coldest days—which are many here in Minnesota—water can freeze as it sits inside your pipes. This phenomenon is especially common when pipes are not properly insulated.
As water freezes, it expands, which puts pressure on the seals and joints of your plumbing. If the pressure becomes too extreme, your pipe may spring a leak or burst entirely, depending on its current condition.
If you fail to notice the issue, you could end up with significant water damage in the surrounding areas. To avoid interior water damage, it is critical that you examine visible pipes for weakness and insulate them appropriately.
Melting snow and ice can cause water to accumulate around the exterior of your home, where it can eventually seep inside your basement through tiny cracks in the foundation. To prevent basement flood damage, always check your sump pump to make sure it’s fully operational.
If you’ve noticed water buildup in your basement, contact a flood damage restoration company to inspect for damage. Hazardous mold and mildew can develop very quickly in damp basement areas, so to protect your health, have the issue corrected as soon as possible.
If you notice that your front steps are suddenly starting to deteriorate, the cold weather can be a reason for this. The moisture from the colder temperatures can seep into the mortar between the steps resulting in the eventual breakdown and needing to be replaced.
In addition, the cold weather can also damage your foundation because as the snow melts, the water can enter the cracks in the foundation. This can result in a structural integrity issue without the proper repairs.
Typically, small drafts inside the home won't cause much damage or injury throughout the year, but they can result in higher heating and cooling costs. This is due to the home's exterior surfaces being affected by the cold, which can also result in condensation building up inside the windows. The result means more difficulty staying comfortable, resulting in higher utility bills and potential mold growth, especially in the winter.
When you have heavy snow combined with improper ventilation, this can also cause damage to your gutters in the winter months. In most cases, if there is light snowfall, it may be a lack of maintenance and clogs from items like dirt, leaves, and twigs. But when you are dealing with fluctuating temperatures, the gutters detach and crack, resulting in a downspout that can harm the foundation in the landscaping of the home.
Although it may seem unlikely, chimneys are also a vulnerable part of the home when dealing with freezing temperatures. One of the most extensive types of damage is caused by moisture, and if the chimney crown is cracked, water can get into the masonry, especially if the flashing is not watertight.
This means that any moisture that gets inside can become a much larger issue, especially if it freezes, because it forces the material to expand, causing the masonry to contract, resulting in deterioration.
Kiser Construction: Your Expert Restoration Contractors
At Kiser Construction, we’ve been assisting Twin Cities homeowners for over 16 years with prompt, professional, and compassionate service. Whether you need storm damage repair, water damage restoration, or fire restoration, our experienced and compassionate team is here to help you get back on your feet. To learn more about our services, feel free to give our team a call at 763-633-2010 or reach out to us on our contact page. We’re always here to help!
If you’re in need of emergency service following a flood, fire, or other incident, we encourage you to call our emergency line at 612-518-8852.