How to protect your property from water damage during winter
COMMON CAUSES OF WINTER WATER PROPERTY DAMAGE
Ice dams occur after a snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures, common weather conditions in the Northeast during winter. Warm air inside your property leaks into the attic and warms the underside of the roof causing snow and ice to melt. The melted water refreezes on the cold overhang and can form icicles and an ice dam on the roof and gutters. This process can cause damage to the roof and exterior that can cause water to leak inside causing water damage to the ceiling, walls, insulation and other areas.
LEAKING BASEMENTS AND FOUNDATIONS
Wet basements and ground floor apartments are a common occurrence for many property owners in Manhattan, the impact of heavy snow, ice and rain on saturated street and sidewalks often leads to water leaks, flooding and other types of basement and foundation water damage. Repeated wetness can often lead to significant structural damage, destroy furnishings and other belongings, added moisture and flooding can also lead to elevated humidity and mold issues.
FROZEN WATER PIPES
When Northeast temperatures drop to at or below freezing, the water flowing in your plumbing has the potential to freeze. Water expands when it freezes, the expansion of the frozen water can cause a rupture, causing catastrophic flood damage. It’s important to note that the break often occurs between the frozen point and the faucet, as the ice blocks the pipe and the water pressure increases leading to stress on the pipe. Pipes that run through the exterior walls are particularly at risk, but those that run through un-insulated attics and crawlspaces can also freeze.
Although, these frozen water damage situations are very common, often the damage could have been avoided by taking a few preventative steps ahead of time. These are a few tips you can take to try and avoid turning the coming frigid days and nights into inconvenient and expensive property disasters.
HELP PREVENT WINTER WEATHER & FREEZING WATER ISSUES WITH THESE TIPS
- Exposed pipes are the most susceptible to freezing, so insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic.
- Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes, and prevent ice dams.
- Seal air leaks in your attic, basement and exterior walls, look for air leaks around electrical wiring, vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out.
- To avoid ice dam concerns, add roof and soffit vents to regulate the air temperature close to the underside of the roof.
- Sump pumps and sub-floor drainage systems are typically used to avoid the continued damage associated with basements and other foundation issues.
- A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing.
- Let warm water drip overnight, from a faucet on an outside wall.
- Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to pipes under sinks and plumbing near exterior walls.
Manhattan weather can be unpredictable even when winter temperatures aren’t extremely cold; property water damages happen to home and business owners often. Often when our crews answer calls for water spilling over the floors or filling basements, it is usually from a failed water heater shut-off valve or a split line on a washing machine. Many factors contribute to the length and cost of your property damage cleanup and restoration project, including the amount and type of water involved, length of time before service and the total area impacted. Our qualified and experienced staff can help answer your disaster restoration questions and provide a step-by-step plan for a full recovery of your flooded commercial or residential property. Our crews explain the process of water extraction, drying and restoration. Our Manhattan SERVPRO team has a unique rebuild option with our dedicated construction crew, to seamlessly move from restoration to reconstruction, helping you recover more quickly. Our specialized equipment and highly trained staff have the scope of services to handle your property restoration needs from start to finish. We understand you may not have all the answers, calling our team connects you to professionals that can provide the answers to your restoration concerns and tailor a solution to repair your home or business, “Like it never even happened.”