How to Protect Your Home From Water Damage in the Winter

frozen-gutters

Winter in St. Louis brings an increased risk of water damage to your home. The combination of cold temperatures with freezing rain, snow, and ice can have dire consequences. The good news is that you can take steps to protect your home to reduce the risk.

The Top Causes of Winter Water Damage

Frozen Pipes

When your pipes freeze, the pressure can build to the point of bursting. This can cause flooding once the ice melts that can lead to thousands of dollars in damage.

How to Reduce the Risk

  • Check for cracks in your exterior walls and fill them with caulk.
  • Insulate pipes that are exposed to cold air with insulating tape. Pipes in crawl spaces, attics, and outside walls can be susceptible to freezing.
  • Keep faucets on drip when it is extremely cold.
  • Open cabinet doors underneath the sink to allow warm air to circulate.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on in your home.

Outdoor Faucets

When the weather gets colder, make sure to shut of the water to your outdoor faucets and hoses. Make sure to disconnect hoses and drain them. Overlooking the maintenance of outdoor faucets in the winter can cause problems when the weather warms up in the spring.

Roof Maintenance & Preventing Ice Dams

Ice dams can cause serious winter water damage to your roof and home. When warm air from your attic, the snow on your roof will melt and turn to ice on the eaves. This is an ice dam.

How to Reduce the Risk

  • It’s very important to have your gutters and downspouts inspected and cleaned so that water will flow from your roof and there is no build-up of ice.
  • Make sure that your attic insulation is not covering up your soffit vents.
  • If your roof has ridge vents installed, permanately block off your gable vents.

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