Winter Weather Damage Prevention

November and December can already be an expensive time of year given the financial demands of the holiday season. That’s why the last thing you want is an additional hit to your wallet in the form of damage to your home or commercial property caused by winter weather.

As service providers in the northern Illinois area, we know the wallop that a Midwest winter can pack. Snow, ice, wind, and extreme cold may seem like the norm every winter season, but that doesn’t mean your home or property is built to withstand it year after year.

Winter storms, whether snow, ice, freezing, or flooding, accounted for a staggering $1.1 billion in insured losses in 2020. In 2021, a record $15.1 billion in insured losses was reported in the first half due to winter storms that affected a large part of the United States in February.

The bottom line: Winter weather can be unpredictable and costly. Starting 2022 with a budget for winter weather damage is the last thing you want. But instead of forking over money for deductibles this year, not to mention the inconvenience of scheduling the repairs needed to restore your property to perfect condition, there are steps you can take to protect your home and prevent a lot of the damage.

Preventing Winter Weather Damage

There are parts of your property that are more prone to damage during winter weather than others. However, preventive measures can be taken that will keep these areas safe when the snow and the inevitable thaw begin.

The most common areas include:

1. Roof

Your roof takes a beating in any season as it is constantly exposed to the elements. It is also often the only thing standing between you being exposed to those elements yourself. High winds and winter storms can tear off shingles and create vulnerable places in your roof for water to get in.

It’s also not uncommon for ridges of ice at the edge of your roof, also known as ice dams, to form and prevent melting ice and water from draining off of your roof and into your gutters. The standing water these cause can lead to water leaks and damages to your roof, ceilings, and interior walls.

To prevent damage to your roof:

  • Start with your insulation and ventilation. Proper insulation will help maintain the interior temperatures while combating the harsh winter temperatures outside. Proper ventilation will help with moisture as the temperatures rise and ice and snow begin to melt.
  • Take care of the snow and ice that forms on your roof before it becomes a problem. Avoid chemical solvents that will melt snow and ice because they will end up damaging your roof more. Instead, use a roof rake to remove excess snow and ice as they begin to build up.

2. Your Pipes

When temperatures outside drop, the water in your pipes is prone to freezing. Since water expands when it’s frozen, the pressure inside of your pipes increases and can cause cracks or bursting. And we all know what that result is: water damage.

To keep your pipes in tip-top condition in the winter, remember that the warmer your pipes are, the less likely they are to freeze. Ways to keep them warm include:

  • Make sure the interior of your building is at least 55 degrees F or higher to prevent freezing.
  • Provide adequate insulation around your pipes, especially those pipes that are on exterior walls.
  • During deep freezes, keep bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open to expose the pipes within and allow the warm air in your home to circulate.

Additionally, when the temperatures take an extreme dip, turn on your faucets to a small trickle to keep water moving. Moving water is harder to freeze.

3. Your Doors

Winterizing your home should always include a quick inspection of exterior doors and door frames for cold air leaks. During this inspection, you should also check that your doors hold a secure latch. Blizzard-like conditions can cause doors to blow open and allow snow to enter your home. If you’re not there at the time it happens, you could return to water and structural damage.

Preventing damage to your home due to your doors requires you to:

  • Replace any exterior door latches and locks if it does not properly close when a bit of pressure is applied from the outside.
  • Add sealing strips around the edges of the door to ensure a snugger fit that keeps cold air from coming through any gaps.
  • Tighten the hinges on your doors. Over time, doors can warp and hinges can loosen, causing your doors to slightly detach from the frame. Tightening hinges can ensure the most secure fit against the strongest winter winds.

There are many ways to prevent winter weather from breaking your new year’s budget, but if winter weather still manages to wreak havoc on your home, our restoration specialists are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We proudly serve areas that have seen a winter or two including Chicago, Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Mundelein, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and surrounding IL areas.

Contact us today to speak to one of our experts about how we can lend a hand when it comes to protecting your home this winter.