Be Smart in Winter, Prevent Water Damage in the Spring

Be Smart in Winter, Prevent Water Damage in the Spring

Winter is on its way. For Iowans, that means plenty of snow and cold temperatures. Some of us love it. Some of us tolerate it. But everyone has to deal with it.

As the temperatures start to drop in the fall, flooding problems are probably the last thing on your mind.

Steamatic has seen its fair share of flooded basements, attics, and living rooms. The fall and winter months are when you need to be your most vigilant.

It’s easy to get focused on shoveling the driveway or distracted by thoughts of your winter vacation plans. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, frozen pipes, ice dams, and heavy snow can take a toll on your property.

Take it from your friends at Steamatic who deal in water damage restoration; it’s never too soon to start putting some precautions in place to protect your home.

Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe from the Elements

Knowing what to do and what to watch out for will save you from having to give us a call come spring.

This probably isn’t your first winter in the Hawkeye State, so consider the following tips as some good reminders.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Uh oh, what happened to the water, and why is the drywall wet? Frozen pipes will either have you desperately trying to dethaw them using a hair dryer or calling an emergency plumber because they’ve already burst. A little preventative care goes a long way.

  • Ensure any pipes in unheated areas (basements, garages, attics, etc.) are protected with insulation or heat tape.
  • Maintain a warm, comfortable temperature on the thermostat overnight or whenever you’re away from home.
  • On days when the weather is frigid, allowing a trickle/drip of water to run from the faucets will prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Remember to drain and disconnect your garden hose.
  • Consider the purchase of a frost-free exterior faucet.

Preventing Ice Dams

When snow on the top of your roof starts to melt (from the warm attic underneath), the runoff ends up pooling along the roof’s edge, creating an icy mound. Those icicles may look pretty, but it could be a sign that you have an ice dam formation. Ice dams can back up under shingles and flood through the roof. They also wreck your eaves and gutters and allow mold to creep into your house.

  • Buy a roof rake to pull down excess snow buildup from the ground.
  • Clean out your gutters and eaves in the fall.
  • Allow cold air to circulate under the roof by keeping the roof vents free of blockages.
  • Seal your attic for leaks and insulate the air ducts with insulation to keep it cool.
  • Install heated de-icing cables in a zigzag pattern along the edge of the roof before the first snow arrives.

Other Tips 

There’s never a good time for water damage to occur inside your home, but it’s especially problematic when it happens during the coldest weather.

  • Make sure your sump pump is working correctly before you potentially need it.
  • Inspect your water heater for signs of leaks.
  • Check your home for any unusual stains on the walls, funky odors, or mold and mildew growth.
  • Always shovel snow away from the base of your home to protect the foundation.

What to Do If You Run into Trouble

Whether you suspect mold buildup or you’re dealing with the fallout from a burst pipe, Steamatic in Dubuque is available 24/7 to restore your property and resolve those nightmare situations.