Winter Water Damage Woes: How to Help Prevent Property Damage
New Hampshire (NH) winters can be harsh. We witnessed this first hand in 2015 where record cold and snowfall pummeled the majority of the state. You know it was a tough winter when “ice dams” and “frozen pipes” become a mainstream topic of discussion around the office water cooler. Nevertheless, we hearty New Hampshire folk persevere despite the winter circumstances. With that said, we also think it wise to be a little more prepared for what may lay ahead. This article will help New Hampshire residents navigate winter water damage woes that accompany our winter storms and frigid temperatures.
Winter water damage and insurance claims go hand-in-hand. According to the Insurance Information Institute winter storms in the United States caused $1.9 billion in insurance losses in 2013. In 2014, the number expanded to $2.3 billion. There is a good chance that the final figure for 2015 will be even higher. What does this mean for residents in New Hampshire? Harsh storms and winter water damage are not going away. Below are a few tips to help prevent and deal with property damages during the coldest season of the year.
Prevent Water Damage from Frozen Pipes
- Know where your water main shut off valve is.
- Properly insulate pipes that have exposure to cold environments in your home, such as a crawl space.
- Maintain adequate interior temperatures in the property. Many sources recommend a minimum of 55-65 degrees. Remember, pipes running in an exterior wall will have an even colder environment.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow for heat to circulate underneath.
- During extreme cold, open faucets slightly to allow for a slow drip.
Inhibit Water Damage from Ice Dams
- Maintain clean gutters. Clogged gutters are more susceptible for ice accumulation that may creep up to the roof shingles.
- Safely and carefully clear snow from roof when possible with a snow rake and extension pole.
- Safely and carefully create channels in existing ice dams for snowmelt to run off.
- Have a professional energy audit of your home. This will help determine where the excessive heat loss is occurring. The heat loss is one of the primary factors causing the ice dams.
Avoid Water Damage from Roof Leaks
- Have a professional roofing company inspect your roof if it is aging. Identify concerns such as dislodged, missing or curling shingles. These are signs of a compromised roof that may be susceptible to leaking and winter water damage.
- Monitor the trees surrounding your property. Icey branches or ones bogged down by heavy snow are a damage risk to your roof and property.
- Don’t let anyone clear your roof from snow. We witnessed many fly-by-night “companies” damage roofs while trying to clear the roofs of ice dams and snow. Hire a company that are professional, established and properly insured.
Winter Water Damage Summary
Frozen pipes, ice dams and roof leaks are the leading causes of winter water damage in New Hampshire (NH). Following the tips listed here should help avoid the need for costly water damage repairs. In the event of a winter water damage emergency, know that there are professionals available to help. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration specializes in helping families and business recover from property disaster. This includes water damage from leaking roofs and burst pipes. Soil-Away works will all local and national insurance companies and specializes in property damage claims. The company services the greater Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Portsmouth and Laconia regions.