It’s not just spring and summer storms that bring flooding and water damage. In actuality, winter is the time homeowners should be most vigilant about protecting their homes from flood and water damage. The reason? There are several of them, including the likelihood that pipes can freeze and burst, as well as the prevalence of winter vacations, meaning unoccupied homes. Flood and water damage is not only costly on its own, but it can also lead to mold problems that will wreak havoc on a home’s air quality, and the health of your family members.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that your home will suffer from a flood this winter as long as you follow a few important steps to prepare:
Have a Thorough Flood Inspection from a Flood Repair Company like Best Dry Flood and Mold Specialists
At the start of winter, or as soon as possible, inspect your roof for any signs of existing damage or hire a service to do an inspection of your home just to make sure you account for every nook and cranny of your home that you cannot see. Even the smallest problem, like a missing shingle, can mean your home is vulnerable to the impact of snow, ice and rain. A few other signs of roof damage include:
Puddles of water on the roof
Light visible from within the attic
In addition to scouring the roof for red flags, inspect gutters and downspouts for anything that could be a blockage (a flood repair professional will check these as well). A small gutter blockage in the winter can lead to much larger problems in the face of melting snow. If a blocked gutter is subjected to a rapid snowmelt, the system can become overloaded very quickly.
When there’s a combination of warm air inside a home, and very cold air outdoors, problems include anything from leaky roofs, to pipes that burst. A few ways homeowners can be proactive against potential flooding and damage include:
Insulating pipes with sleeves. This is a quick fix that can go a long way to prevent freezing and bursting from occurring.
Seal any holes or cracks that exist around pipes, whether they’re located on outer walls, or in the foundation of a home.
Periodically open cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom, to allow warm air to circulate around pipes, which can help prevent freezing.
If pipes seem very vulnerable to freezing, occasionally run water through the faucet connected to them.
Keep trees well-trimmed and away from your home and roof. When branches become weighed down with ice, they can not only cause damage to a home, but also to your vehicle and even your family.
Maintain Your Home While You’re Away
If you’re planning a trip to visit family around the holidays, or a winter getaway, don’t neglect your home, or you may return home to a flood.
The best way you can prevent water damage while away is to ask a trusted friend or neighbor to periodically check on your home. This person should know where both your thermostat and main water valve are located, in the event of a leaky or burst pipe.
If you don’t have someone to check on your home, it’s recommended that you turn off the main water valve entirely, and drain the pipes completely after turning it off. You should also leave your cabinet doors open during your trip.
If you’ve already experienced winter water and flood damage, contact a professional flood and mold company immediately like Best Dry Flood and Mold Specialists, to ensure your home is properly taken care of or to prevent a potential flood (and subsequent mold) from developing.
For more information about this blog post or to request a free inspection of your San Diego-area home in effort to prevent flood and water damage, please call Best Dry Flood and Mold Specialists, Inc. at (858) 483-2505.
Posted on 12/11/2011 at 12:00 AM
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