Preventing the Winter Elements from Causing Water Damage

Winter is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to prepare your home for nature’s roughest season. Snow, ice, and arctic winds can spell trouble for your home during the winter months, causing a number of issues that can lead to water damage. By knowing what to look for and what steps to take to prevent common forms of winter water damage, you can avoid the aggravation and expense of repairs.

Culprit: Ice Dams & Icicles

Ice dams are solid areas of ice that can form in the overhangs or gutters on residential and commercial roofs. Icicles are the more visible cousin of ice dams. Both ice dams and icicles form in a similar fashion and are often found together. When a significant amount of snow collects on your roof and then melts, either due to a poorly insulated roof space or a string of sunny days, the water runs down the roof only to refreeze on the colder, lower portion of the roof and in the gutters.

Ice dams and icicles can lead to a host of problems if left untreated, including roof leaks and gutter damage. To prevent them from forming, ensure that your attic or roof space is properly insulated and ventilated. You can also consider removing snow accumulation from your roof with a snow rake or having a professional snow removal company perform the job.

Culprit: Basement Leaks

While rain is the most frequent cause of weather-related interior leaks, melting snow can also pose a similar hazard. Basement leaks can often go unnoticed, depending on where they occur and the extent of their severity. Cracks in your home’s foundation can lead to melting snow finding its way in. If your basement has windows, water can come through gaps in the seals or cracks in the glass.

Culprit: Poorly Sealed Windows

Window seals tend to wear down naturally over time. You may notice that you need to don a sweater at home more often as there are drafts that weren’t there before. Check the seals around any windows that seem to be letting in a draft. Replace any gaps with fresh caulking. If your frames are showing signs of rotting, it’s because too much water has gotten in, leading to damage. Water can also get inside the walls and even threaten the structural integrity of your home, so it’s important to make sure that the seals are repaired or replaced.

Culprit: Freezing Pipes

It’s a nightmare for any homeowner: coming home to realize that your basement has a foot of water due to a frozen pipe that burst. Burst pipes are more common than you might think, and affect thousands of homes each year. A few simple steps can prevent your pipes from freezing when the temperature outside plummets. Leave your faucets on a slow drip at all times to keep water moving through the pipes. You can purchase pipe insulation at the hardware store for an inexpensive price, which easily fits around interior pipes.

Winter can be harsh for your home, but it doesn’t have to cause unnecessary damage. By staying proactive, you can prevent many forms of water damage. However, sometimes water damage is unavoidable. In these cases, count on the experienced team at RestorePro to fix your home up as good as new. Contact us at 1-800-847-0114 for more information or to schedule an appointment. For more seasonal maintenance tips, be sure to visit RestorePro’s Facebook page at