Warning- Winter Storm Damages!
Winter storms can bring down an array of hazardous weather any of which can cause destruction to homes and neighborhoods. Entire cities ravaged by savage winter storms can end up with billions of dollars in damage. Some of the destructive impacts seen and some of the most common winter storm damages :
Ice: The weight of snow that thaws and refreezes into ice can coat roofs, trees, power lines and just about anything. The weight can quickly surpass what trees and homes structures can support and when they give out, major damage is often the result.
Wet Snow: Snow sticks when it is wet, and wet snow and quickly pile up and get extremely heavy. This is particularly a threat in fall and early spring storms. A foot of wet snow can weigh more than 10 times what dry snow weighs.
Snow on Roofs: Accumulations of several feet from one or multiple storms can add stress to roofs, causing them to collapse. Winter storm damages can bring massive destruction when damage is done to the roofing systems of homes and businesses.
Coastal Flooding: In coastal areas, winter storms often cause rises in water levels. The storms that bring in winter storms often drop rain and wet snow on its way in that can quickly melt when it starts to melt and piles of snow can affect local drainage as well.
High Winds: When strong winds come with the influx of snow and ice it often times will weaken trees and can result in branches breaking and falling. These can hit your home and do damage as well as damage your yard and anything in the general area.
Flooding After the Snow: If there is a sudden spike in temperatures or a heavy rain following a winter storm the snow and ice that was dumped can melt quickly and lead to flooding. Major damage can be done to homes and businesses when flooding occurs.
Historical Storms in the United States
Winter storm damages can be massive and can take years to recover when the winter storms are big enough and bad enough. According to Weather.com these are some of the costliest winter storms the United States has seen:
Blizzard of 1993: $9.8 Billion
On a pedestal by itself, the Blizzard of 1993 caused $9.8 billion in damage as it roared through the East Coast March 11-14. It remains the most costly winter storm to strike the United States since at least 1980… High winds triggered power outages in 10 million households and coastal flooding damaged or destroyed homes on the East Coast. The storm system also brought severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and tornadoes to Florida.
Southeast Ice Storm of 1994: $5.2 Billion
The Feb. 8-13, 1994 ice storm caused extensive damage in the South totaling $5.2 billion. Of all the states affected, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama saw the worst impacts. More than 2 million lost power. A half million were still without power three days after the storm. Some residents in Mississippi were without power a month after the storm. Downed trees and limbs caused widespread damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.
Mid-February 2015 Winter Storm: $3.2 Billion
Winter Storm Neptune and its associated wave of cold air affected the central and eastern United States Feb. 14-20, 2015. Heavy snow buried Boston, adding to the hefty snowpack already in place from earlier storms. The snow put stress on the roofs of structures and slowed transportation, according to NOAA. Total damage from this event was estimated to be $3.2 billion. Massachusetts alone accounted for about $1 billion in damage.
Protect Your Home From Winter Storm Damage
Winter storm damages can bring a large amount of destructive power but there are things you can do to protect your home ahead of the winter frenzy.
Protect Your Pipes
Water freezes and there is often water in your pipes, even when the faucets are not being actively used. This water can freeze and can lead to cracked and burst pipes that can cause leaking and water damage in your home. Protect your pipes from the cold by warping them in insulation before the cold weather hits and inspect them after every winter storm.
Avoid Ice Dams
“An ice dam occurs when ice and snow melts during the day and then refreezes in the evening, becoming trapped in your gutters and clogging them. This situation can force water back up under the roof line and lead to expensive damage to your home. Make sure your gutters are free of all leaves, sticks and other debris that could lead to ice dams” (American Home Shield)
Prepare Your Yard
Winter storm damages can be severe and can cause a lot of problems for your yard and your landscape. Prepare for the coming winter by protecting your landscape and your grass and cleaning up the yard before the first snows fall. Spreading pine needles or mulch can help protect tree and shrub roots from freezing temperatures all winter long.
Seal Windows and Doors
Older homes can be drafty due to the gaps that can form around doors and windows. These cracks and gaps need to be sealed to prevent cold air from getting into your home. Even newest homes can experience this especially when caulk and sealants have only recently cured and can still separate some as time passes and as winter storm damages build.
Keep Your Attic Cool
“A warm attic can contribute to ice dam damage by causing snow to melt in the middle of your roof and drain toward the gutters where it may refreeze… Make sure it’s properly ventilated and seal any cracks or holes in your ceiling and around fixtures. It’s also a good idea to insulate the attic floor to keep heat inside your home and outside of the attic” (American Home Shield)
Watch for Snow Overload
Snow melts can cause ice dams if the melt is able to refreeze. But you also do not want winter storm damages to occur due to snow overload on roofs, trees, and other structures. Monitoring snow loads and carefully remove snow build up is necessary to avoid a potentially dangerous situation of snow overload.
Remove Branches Hanging Over Your House
Even the healthiest looking tree can be dying inside and can weaken from weathering previous winter storms. It is a good idea to inspect your trees on a regular basis to ensure they are healthy. You will want to keep branches cut back away from your home so they do not damage your property if they were to fall during a storm.
Have Your Heating System Checked
The final thing you can do to protect your home from winter storm damages is to not neglect your heating system checks. You are going to put it through the ringer before the winter season is done. So, keep everything in good order and make sure you are ready to face the winter and deal with the Winter storm damages that may be heading your way.
Contact Us Today
If you have questions about how winter storm damages can impact your home and what you can do to prepare for the coming winter attack, contact us today. We can help you prepare and offer a helping hand to deal with any cleanup and maintenance you need for your yard and property.