Property damage in winter can occur at any time here in Central Pennsylvania and while most home and business owners don’t have “cleanup water damage from frozen pipes” listed on their winter “to-do” list, the impacts of winter weather can cause unexpected issues that many of us are not prepared for. It’s important to understand the different ways winter can impact your residence and the restoration services available to you before experiencing property damage.
Sustained low temperatures, combined with cold winds and winter precipitation, can cause problems for the interior and exterior of your home or business. Here are some common winter hazards:
Home fires increase during the cold weather months. In fact, insurance companies and fire departments actually prepare for more fires during December, January and February. Improper use or poor maintenance of heating systems during the winter months can cause fire and/or smoke damage. When that first cold snap of the winter hits, people light up their fireplaces without checking for obstructions. Additionally, placing space heaters or candles near walls or drapes can result in fires. To avoid the most common causes of fires in the winter, have your heating system inspected. Practice vigilance with space heaters as well, and never leave them plugged in when you’re not at home.
Flooding and Water Damage
During the winter, water damage can come in many forms. The two main risks are water entry through cracks and floods caused by burst pipes. As snow melts, your home becomes at risk of water damage, mold and a host of other problems. A foot of snow can turn into an inch or more of water, and any roof damage you’ve incurred during or before the latest snowstorm becomes an open invitation for water to damage your attic, upper floors, walls and insulation.
The same freeze/thaw cycle can also affect a foundation. Hairline cracks in the concrete of a foundation that develop naturally over time because of a home settling can expand during the winter months, causing major structural issues if they aren’t taken care of in a timely way. Getting a foundation repaired in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing as time goes by.
Depending on the structure of your home or building and the type of roof, damage can come in many forms during the winter. Snow and ice can cause significant damage to your gutters and roof. The additional weight of snow and ice can even cause a roof to collapse. Too much snow will most likely result in the formation of ice dams and cause water damage to your home. An ice dam occurs when heat from inside melts the snow on the roof and the draining water refreezes at the edge of the roof. The resulting ice wall prevents water from draining away. The trapped water can then easily leak into your home, causing considerable property damage.
Sever winter storms can cause components of your roof to be damaged or removed, like shingles, the roofline or the soffit. Similar to the roof losing shingles, the siding of your home can also be torn away. Heavy snow and sleet can beat against your doors and windows leaving behind chips, cracks, dents, and damaged wood. It can also cause damage to screens and trim surrounding the windows resulting in cold air leaks. If your home is breached, rot and mold can accumulate onto your insulation.
The home isn’t the only area that can sustain damage during a winter storm. Trees in your yard can also take a hit. Heavy snow and high winds can knock down tree limbs, taking out power lines, damaging siding, and generally making your landscaping look a mess.
How We Can Help
If your home or business has been damaged, it’s important to act quickly and seek professional restoration help. A major risk with winter damage is that the full extent goes undetected until spring, leading to additional issues and costly repairs. Whether it’s water damage in your home’s attic due to ice dams or a fire sprinkler system freezing resulting in a flood, our restoration and repair services can provide prompt and professional winter damage cleanup. Our team of certified professionals have the restoration experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate winter-related damage.
Xtreme Home Improvement is one of the few restoration companies in Central Pennsylvania that is full service. We do everything from cleaning and restoring your property and everything inside the home, to reconstruction, and 24-hour emergency response service. We have honed our restoration process to give you the best results available. So when winter weather strikes, we strike back!