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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Winter Storms Can Damage Your Indiana Home

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Ice can be particularly damaging to your Indianapolis home or business.

When we think about damaging storms, we tend to think of warm weather storms during Spring, Summer, and Fall. We don’t tend to think of winter storms as being extremely dangerous and damaging to homes. You might be surprised to learn that winter storms are the most damaging type of storm behind hurricanes and tornadoes.

While summer storms can bring high winds, flooding, and lightning; winter storms can bring some of the same and more like ice and snow. Below we will cover the damaging aspects of a winter storm and what steps you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your Indiana home.

Ice Damage

The first thing we think about when discussing the dangers of ice are slip and falls. Slip and falls along your sidewalk, driveway, deck, and patio are common and can result in broken bones. But ice can also cause damage to your home. Falling ice from trees and power lines can damage your roof. Ice accumulation in your gutters can cause them to break away from your home. Ice build up on your roof can cause the most damage as the weight of the ice can eventually cause your roof to collapse. Even if ice on your roof doesn’t cause it to collapse or bow, it can also cause water to seep under your shingles and cause water damage in your attic.

Some steps you can take to prevent this is to check to make sure your gutters aren’t clogged. It’s usually best and safest to clean your gutters out once all of the leaves have fallen from the trees around your home. Usually, the temperatures are still bearable and you can find a day where the roof is dry. Once you start having snow accumulations, you need to check your roof on a regular basis to make sure the snow isn’t piling up. As the snow piles up, it can melt and refreeze causing ice dams on your roof. These ice dams can keep the snow melt from flowing off your roof. Instead, the ice can build up and lead to leaks or collapses. A long handle broom or rake can help know off the snow or break up the ice dams.

Wind Damage

Winter storms can bring bitterly cold, high-speed winds which can wreak havoc on a home. These winds can blow snow, ice, and water under shingles, into foundation cracks, in cracks around your windows and doors, and through an attic and crawl space vents. They can also blow tree limbs and ice into your siding and windows causing damage and breaks.

While you can take some steps to reduce the risk of ice damage, there’s not much you can do to keep the high winds at bay. The best thing is to check around your home for any signs of damage after a winter storm. Look for damages to your siding, shingles, and windows. If the wind has blown snow up against your home, you will want to shovel it away. Snow buildup can cause water damage to your siding and foundation as it melts and refreezes.

Flooding After the Snow

During the really big snowstorms that usually only happen every few years in Indiana, the melting snow can be as dangerous and damaging as the snow itself. The snow itself can lead to roof collapses if the snow is wet and heavy and deep. But if the temperatures all of a sudden swing above freezing temperatures, the melting snow can cause flooding. Since the ground in Indiana is usually saturated during the winter months, the melting snow can quickly cause flooding in low and high areas.

To keep the flood waters from damaging your home, you want to make sure to shovel as much snow as possible away from your home’s exterior. If you have storms drains near your home, you want to check them regularly to make sure they don’t get clogged from the snow melts. If the snow builds up against your exterior and it starts to melt, the water can seep through your windows and doors that the snow has covered. This is why it’s important to shovel away the excess snow before it has time to melt.

Winter Storms Can Be Messy

Winter storms can be messy in Indiana. Not only do they make driving and walking even more dangerous, but they can also wreak havoc on your home. If you should experience water damage, mold damage, and/or fire damage from a winter storm, contact the cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Indianapolis West. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how to clean up and repair the damage caused to your home. Give them call any time and any day for your winter storm damage emergency.

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