If you live in the Midwest or the Northeast, you know how intense winters can be. These regions experience frequent and severe winter storms, often bringing high winds, freezing rains, and incredible snowfall. These can cause damage to your home, especially if you fail to safeguard your home for extreme weather conditions.
Fortunately, knowing how to prepare for a winter storm can minimize property damage. Even if storm damage does occur, understanding the next steps to take, like water extraction, can help you make your home safe, dry, and comfortable again in no time.
Preparing for a Winter Storm: 6 Fundamental Tips to Remember
- Secure Doors and Windows
Your doors and windows are among your first lines of defense against winter storm damage, so it’s crucial that you secure them. Install sturdy window treatments and weather stripping to prevent drafts and leaks. Seal gaps around doors and caulk drafty windows to keep cold air and moisture outside.
- Insulate Water Pipes
Frozen pipes can cause disastrous water damage in seconds when they burst. Insulate your water lines to avoid the mess and overwhelming repairs they can cause, especially those running through the unheated areas of your home. Allowing indoor faucets to drip moves water through the pipes, which can also help prevent freezing.
- Clean Gutters and Downspouts
Clogged gutters and downspouts can cause water backups, ice dams, and roof leaks during winter storms. On top of this, wet leaves and other debris can become solid when they freeze due to the low temperatures, causing your gutters to warp.
If you are anticipating severe winter weather in your area, it’s best to clear leaves and debris from your gutters and downspouts. Doing so ensures proper drainage and keeps water from wreaking havoc on your home or business.
- Be Wary of Ice Dams
Ice dams can form when melted snow re-freezes at the edge of your home’s roofline. When they do, they can prevent water from draining off your roof and away from your home. The resulting trapped water and snow can put excessive pressure on your roof, eventually leading to leaks.
Pulling the snow down from the roof with a rake now and then is one way to prevent snow buildup and ice dams. Chemical melting agents like calcium chloride can also be used to melt ice dams quickly and clear roofs more easily.
- Trim Nearby Trees
Heavy snow and ice accumulation can weigh down branches and pose a threat to your property. Trim trees and remove dead branches before severe weather begins to reduce the risk of them falling on your roof or causing damage during a winter storm.
- Review Your Insurance Documents
When preparing for a winter storm, you naturally want to ensure you’ve safeguarded your home well to avoid any damage. However, there’s no harm in anticipating the worst by finding and reviewing your insurance documents.
You want to be sure your policy has the coverage you need should winter damage occur. If it doesn’t, consider getting additional coverage. Doing so not only gives you peace of mind but also helps you shoulder the costs of repairing or replacing your possessions affected by the storm.
Recovering After Winter Storm Damage
Processing the fact that your home suffered winter storm damage can be overwhelming. However, acting quickly and taking these steps can put you on the right track toward a swift and efficient recovery.
Secure the Property
When a winter storm hits and damage occurs, your immediate priority should be to secure the property and prevent further issues. Board up broken windows, tarp damaged roofs, and take any necessary steps to safeguard your home or business from additional damage.
Examine Your Home
After securing the property, conduct a thorough examination to assess the extent of the damage. Check for signs of water intrusion, structural damage, and potential safety hazards. Doing so can help you understand the next steps to take.
As you do this, document the damage with pictures and notes. This information will be essential once you process your insurance claim.
Perform Quick Water Extraction
Water intrusion is a common issue during winter storms, and it’s essential to address it promptly. Some ways to get standing water out of your home include operating pumps and wet/dry vacuums or removing standing water manually with buckets and pails.
Call the Experts to Dry and Repair Your Home
While your efforts can help remove excess water inside your home, thoroughly drying your property and preventing other issues like bacterial growth require the expertise of professionals.
It’s crucial that you call a local company specializing in storm recovery and frozen or burst pipe cleanup. They have the equipment, knowledge, and expertise to thoroughly dry your property, assess the damage, and provide effective solutions.
Restoration 1 Is Here to Help Restore Your Home After Storm Damage
Preparing for a winter storm early and getting professional restoration help as soon as damage occurs can help you get your home and life back to normal. If you are dealing with ice dams and roof leaks, frozen or burst pipes, structural damage, or other issues after a disaster, rest assured that your nearest Restoration 1 team is ready to help.
Besides specializing in storm and water damage restoration, our local restoration teams across the country are available 24/7 to provide rapid response, complete solutions, and extensive support throughout the restoration process. With us as your go-to team, you can rest assured your property is handled with care and expertise.
We help you recover from property damage and get things back to normal as soon as possible. Get in touch today for water or storm damage help in your area.