November and December can already be an expensive time of year, given the holiday season. But when you add in the damage that can be caused by winter weather, your wallet could take an even bigger hit than expected.
Snow, ice, wind, and cold may seem like the norm every winter season, but the Insurance Information Institute reports winter storms can create costly damages, with an an estimated $1 billion in insured losses in 2016 and about $30 billion in insured catastrophe losses between 1996 to 2015.
Thanks to homeowners insurance and restoration companies, help is available for any winter damage to possibly come your way. That said, life is always easier if you can avoid forking over deductibles during a season when budgets are already near bust, as well as not be inconvenienced by the repairs needed to restore your home back to pre-loss condition.
Prevent Winter Weather Damage
There are lots of way to protect your home from the hazards of harsh winter weather. However, your efforts may be best rewarded by tending to the following common home areas that can quickly require costly damage repair.
- Roof: Constantly exposed to the elements, your roof can take a beating, with high winds and winter storms tearing off shingles and creating entry points for moisture to get in. Additionally, ice dams can form, which is a ridge of ice at the edge of a roof line that prevents water from melting, and snow and ice from draining off the roof and into your gutters. The standing water can lead to water leaks and damages to your roof, ceilings, and interior walls.
Prevention: Prevent ice dams from occurring by adding insulation to your attic space. Avoid potential damage by hiring a professional to carefully remove ice dams and excess snow from your roof. If damage does occur, tarp the area to help ward off further problems until the repairs can be sufficiently made.
- Pipes: Plummeting outdoor temperatures can cause the water in your pipes to freeze. Because water expands when frozen, the pressure inside the pipes increases, which can cause them to crack or burst and create home and property water damage.
Prevention: The warmer pipes are, the less likely they are to freeze. Turn up the temp inside your home to 55 degrees F or higher. Seal areas around pipes where cold area may be getting in, and provide adequate insulation around pipes, especially those on exterior walls. When temperatures take an extreme dip, turn on faucets to a small trickle, as moving water is harder to freeze.
- Doors: Inspecting exterior doors and door frames for cold air leaks is a common to-do list task when the weather gets chilly. But don’t forget to also check how well your door holds a secure latch. Blizzard-like conditions can cause doors to be blown open, which could cause piles of snow to come flooding into your home. If you’re not home when it happens, you could return to water and structural damage.
Prevention: Replace exterior door latches and locks, or the door itself, if it does not stay properly closed when a bit of pressure is applied from the outside. Add further protection from the elements by installing a properly rated storm door.
When winter weather wreaks havoc on your home, our restoration specialists are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, we’d prefer your home never be damaged to begin with. Improve your property with these winter weather damage prevention tips or call us to let us lend a hand in protecting your home.
Water Damage Clean Up
A&J is Madison and Milwaukee’s 24/7 emergency and non-emergency water damage restoration specialists. We work with your insurance carrier from extraction services to rebuild. When you suffer from damage caused by a harsh winter weather causing a frozen or burst pipe, ice dams, flooded basement, or other water loss in your home or commercial building, call A&J for immediate response.
We provide 24/7 emergency water damage, fire and smoke damage, mold, sewage cleanup services for homes, businesses, and commercial buildings around Madison, Middleton, Sun Prairie, Waunakee, Portage, Milwaukee, Brookfield, WI Dells, Fort Atkinson, Watertown, Oconomowoc, Waukesha, West Allis, and surrounding Dane County Wisconsin areas.