Winter Water Damage? It’s more likely than you think
With winter fast approaching and temperatures dropping rapidly, time is running out to prep your home for the cold. Many homeowners are unaware of the damage that water can do in the winter, but Aloha is here to help. We put together this short guide of what to look out for to keep your home safe from winter water damage.
Frightening Frozen Foundation
The main way that winter water damage occurs is from leftover water freezing. The problem occurs when water gets into small spaces, like cracks in the foundation. Water expands when frozen, which pushes the foundation apart and forms larger cracks. This repeats over the years, and can lead to massive foundational damage over time, potentially weakening the building’s stability. Additionally, these cracks create even more ways for water to sneak into your home, which during the warmer months can lead to problems with flooding or mold. To remedy this issue, inspect the foundation of your home for any cracks, and get them repaired as soon as possible.
Water expanding when it freezes can cause issues in other fixtures as well. Clogged gutters that haven’t been cleaned of fall debris can trap water in them, which can then damage the gutter when it freezes.
Improperly maintained gutters are actually one of the leading causes of water in the foundation, as both a blocked gutter and a broken gutter can cause water to leak into the ground too close to the home. This water seepage can lead to the problems discussed in the previous segment. To keep these issues from occurring, regularly clean your gutters and ensure that water can flow through them properly. While doing so, check the gutters for any holes or breaks that can cause leaks, and if any are found, repair them as soon as possible.
Cold Pipes? That’s not very ice
Pipes are another fixture affected by the cold. Plumbing and water pipes can become backed up from being frozen, which can even lead to the pipe bursting, opening up your home to even more water damage. A burst pipe can also be hazardous to your health if a sewage pipe leaks. The pipe being blocked can lead to issues like overflowing sump pumps or damage to the pump from a backflow, swamping you in repair costs.
Thankfully, pipes are fairly easy to protect from the cold. The simplest solution is to ensure the pipes are warm enough to prevent freezing. Try opening up direct airflow to the pipes by opening any doors or cabinets that normally hide them. For areas of your home that aren’t heated, consider installing specialty pipe insulation to prevent freezing.
Use these tips to keep your home safe from frozen water damage this winter. With the cold rapidly approaching, there is little time left to prepare your home for the winter. If your home is damaged by water this winter, give Aloha a call! Our experts in water mitigation services will get your home back to normal.