Top 3 Causes of Winter Water Damage and How to Prevent Them

Winter in Illinois can be beautiful, but it can also bring about freezing temperatures and major ice storms. With such severe weather, frozen pipes can happen quickly, leading to water damage in your commercial building. Roof damage is also a cause for concern during the winter months. Let’s look at these major causes of water damage during winter and how to prevent them from hitting your building.

Frozen Pipes

The biggest issue that commercial building owners face during winter are freezing temperatures that can lead to frozen pipes. Insulating pipes that are exposed to the elements is step number one. The important thing to remember is that even wrapped pipes can sometimes freeze if caught in a draft!

When pipes freeze, water inside tends to expand. The pressure will cause the pipes to crack open and start to leak into the building. Depending on if the water is turned off for winter or not, this leak can be a slow drip or a burst pipe which can lead to major flooding. If not cleaned up right away, property owners can be stuck dealing with water damage and mold growth.

Roof Damage and Ice Dams

Winter storms can also cause major damage to roofs. It can be the start of ice dams forming on top of your building. Winter winds can whip through, causing shingles to loosen and even break free. This makes it easier for water from snow and rain to seep into the attic of your building.

Ice dams begin to form along gutters as snow melts from the heat of the attic, but due to clogged gutters cannot drain properly. This causes the melted water to freeze over, allowing ice blocks to form, which can eventually pool onto the roof, leading to leaks in the attic.

Turn off Outdoor Water Sources

As winter hits, all outdoor water sources should be shut off. This includes water to hoses and spigots. Make certain that you drain water from hoses and store them in a dry, warm area so they do not crack, freeze, or break.

Create a Plan

Now that you know what to look for in potential water damage culprits, it’s time to create a plan to prevent water damage from occurring in your commercial property.

  1. Make a list of areas that could succumb to water damage. Think of any scenarios as possible and plan accordingly.
  2. Have a good restoration company like McMahon Services on speed dial. Our emergency team is on-call and ready to go 24/7, and offers commercial water damage services when you need them most.
  3. If roof repairs are needed, McMahon Services is available for that as well!

Call McMahon Services today for more information to help prevent winter water damage to your building! We provide commercial disaster restoration services in Chicago and surrounding Illinois areas.