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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Avoid Winter Water Damage in These 5 Home Areas

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Ice hangs off a frozen pipe Cold temperatures make your home especially vulnerable to severe water damage. Follow these tips to keep your home safe.

Water damage can be disastrous to homes and businesses during wintertime, especially during days when temperatures change, causing ice and snow to start to melt. Here at SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield, we know that many of the worst kinds of winter water damage are preventable.

Here, we identify five areas of the home where leaking water can cause severe and costly damage to your home. Follow our guidelines to keep your property and belongings safe from a winter flood.

Pipes

A sudden or sustained drop in the temperature can cause the water in your pipes to freeze and expand, stressing the pipe and causing it to burst open. Prevent this winter water disaster by doing this before the weather turns cold:

  • Identify vulnerable pipes (those in non- or lightly-heated areas such as exterior walls, basements and garages).
  • Insulate or heat-wrap these pipes.
  • Periodically check your pipes for signs of damage or wear and tear. 
  • Turn off the water supply to outside lines, disconnect any hoses and cover the hose bibs.

When the cold snap hits:

  • Keep your home heated.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate.
  • Run a trickle of water through vulnerable pipes.
  • If you leave your home for even a couple of days during cold weather, turn off the water supply at the main shutoff.

Chimneys

Over time the brickwork and mortar of your chimney can develop cracks and gaps, causing leaks inside the chimney itself or in your attic or basement. Your chimney liner and cap can also leak as they age.

Check for loose mortar at least once a year, and look for any signs of water stains. You should have your chimney and fireplace or wood-burning stove cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep every year before the winter heating season begins.

Caulking

Most doors and windows are sealed with caulking to protect your home against wind and water. However, as temperatures rise and fall, caulking naturally expands and shrinks, and eventually wears out and crumbles, allowing water inside your home.

Check your caulking for cracks and damage at least once a year, ideally before the winter weather hits. 

Roofing

If the seams and flashing on your roof are worn out, this could lead to leaks when snow starts to melt, and you will end up with water damage in your attic, ceilings and walls. And if you don’t discover these leaks promptly, you can also end up with a hard-to-eradicate mold problem.

Have your roof inspected periodically, especially if it’s approaching the end of its guaranteed lifespan.

Gutters and Roof

If icicles form on your gutters, it’s much more than a pretty sight. It could also be a sign that you are at risk of developing an ice dam at the edge of your roof, which could cause water and mold damage to your roof, ceilings and interior walls.

Perhaps the most common cause of winter water damage, ice dams form when ice and water repeatedly thaw and refreeze, building up in a mound along the edge of the roof. You need to keep your attic cool enough so that snow and ice don’t have a chance to melt and refreeze on your roof.

To prevent ice dams:

  • Seal gaps between the attic and your living area.
  • Add extra insulation to your attic floor.
  • Vent your attic properly.
  • Allow melted snow and ice to run through your gutters and downspouts by clearing them of leaves and other debris.

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

We’re Here to Help

If you do suffer damage from a water disaster, you’ll need to act fast. Step one is to call an experienced water damage remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield. We’re here to help when you have property and structure damage from a water disaster—and we’ll get the job done quickly and completely!

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SERVPRO publishes educational articles on how to protect your home or business from disasters and how to deal with mold, fire, water, sewage, storm and other damage.

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SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield
1408 Neipsic Road, Glastonbury, CT 06033

IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.633.8791 
24-hour emergency service

When you have suffered a water or other disaster at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Glastonbury/Wethersfield today at 860.633.8791

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