When you think of winter storms, you likely think of copious amounts of snow, whipping winds, and freezing temperatures. And while snowstorms can certainly pose a threat to your Twin Cities home, another type of winter storm — the ice storm — can be just as, if not more, damaging than heavy snow and high winds.
Read on to learn what this type of storm entails, how it can damage your home, and how to deal with ice storm damage if your home becomes a victim.
What Is an Ice Storm?
An ice storm, also referred to as a glaze event, is characterized by a prolonged period of freezing rain, during which considerable amounts of ice accumulate outdoors. During an ice storm, rain continually falls, and when that water makes contact with the sub-freezing air near the earth’s surface, it freezes immediately. Anything the rain touches — trees, the ground, roofs, vehicles, powerlines — ends up coated in a thick layer of ice.
How Can an Ice Storm Damage Your Home?
When a significant amount of ice builds on any object or structure, it adds considerable weight to that surface. And in some cases, that additional weight can be too much for certain structures to bear.
According to the National Weather Service, ice accumulation on tree branches can increase their weight by up to 30 times and just one-half inch of ice buildup on power lines can increase their weight by up to 500 pounds. That additional weight — either on your home or on trees or power lines surrounding it — can cause several serious problems, including:
● Roof damage caused by falling tree branches
● Detached gutters and downspouts
● Cracks in roof decking/sheathing
● Roof collapse
● Water damage caused by melting ice
Even if you can’t see damage to your home after an ice storm, perform a thorough inspection of your attic just to make sure. If your roof has any existing leaks or other forms of damage, it will be more vulnerable to cracking under the weight of the ice accumulation. And when the ice begins to melt, water can drip into your attic where it can prompt mold, mildew, and structural deterioration.
How to Address Ice Storm Damage
What should you do if your home suffers damage caused by an ice storm? Take the following steps to prevent considerable water damage inside your home:
● Call a storm damage restoration company immediately. Ideally, you’ll want to contact a company that specializes in both storm damage repair and water damage restoration since the ice will likely cause some degree of water intrusion inside your home. The faster you have the damage repaired or temporarily patched up, the lower your risk of incurring serious water damage.
● Turn off water and power to the affected room(s). If you’re dealing with plumbing damage caused by the storm, it’s in your best interest to turn off your water main to prevent serious plumbing leaks indoors. If there’s already water inside your home, flip the breakers that control the power supply to the affected areas.
● Document the damage. Take photos or videos of the damaged areas as you’ll need proof of what happened to file a repair claim with your homeowners insurance. Be sure to document any property losses as well so can get the appropriate reimbursement from your insurance company.
● Contact your insurer. When the storm damage has been contained, reach out to your insurer to start the claims process. An adjuster will need to come to your home to assess the damage and determine your coverage for storm damage repairs.
● Remove vulnerable property. Once everything has been documented, remove any property from the ice-damaged zones to mitigate further damage to your belongings.
● Keep your receipts/invoices. You’ll receive invoices or receipts from the storm damage repair or water damage restoration contractors when they perform service. Be sure to hang on to all documentation associated with the incident and the necessary repairs as you’ll need to provide your insurance company with that information to get the reimbursement you deserve.
Contact Kiser Construction for 24/7 Storm Damage Restoration in the Twin Cities
If your home becomes a victim of ice storm damage this winter, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Kiser Construction for help. We offer 24/7 emergency water damage and storm damage repair services and our expert team can help you file your insurance claim from start to finish. Feel free to call our Elk River, MN, office today at 763-633-2010 to learn more about how we can help you or contact us online for more information.
If your home recently suffered a water damage disaster and you need immediate cleanup assistance, please call our 24/7 emergency line at 612-518-8852.