Winter is here in Meridian! Whether you love the magic of a winter wonderland, or can’t wait for the warmer temperatures to arrive, it’s important to protect your home from possible water damage caused by melting snow. Here are seven tips and tricks to help you waterproof your home this season so that you don’t have to call a water damage restoration company.
1. Turn off your water before leaving town. Winter is often associated with major holiday and family gatherings. While these get-togethers are wonderful (we hope, anyway!), it also means that there are many people traveling during the winter season. If you know you’re going to be gone when it’s cold outside, make sure you take the proper precautions to protect your home. No one wants to come home from Thanksgiving break to a flooded home! If you’re not going to be gone for very long, leave the cupboard doors underneath your sinks open to let the warm air in. It also might be wise to turn the faucet on to let a small trickle of water run continuously. These tricks help prevent your pipes from freezing. If you’re going to be gone for a longer period of time, turn off your water completely – or think about having a friend, neighbor, or family member check on your home at least once every few days. Also: it’s important to know where your home’s main water valve is so that if a pipe does burst, you can turn the water off quickly, preventing further damage.
2. Check the roof! If your attic isn’t properly insulated, then heat from your home will get out through the roof. This will melt any snow on your roof, often before the sun has a chance to do so. Melting snow can freeze once it reaches any area of the roof that’s colder than where the heat escaped from, and this causes ice damming. This forces the frozen water to go under the roof shingles, and that’s never good! Consider purchasing a roof rake – a tool that lets you stand safely on the ground in order to brush off the snow that sticks to your roof.
3. Protect your possessions. This may seem like a no-brainer to some people, but there are all sorts of great ways to store things, whether they be precious family photos or summer toys and decorations packed away until next year. However, if you keep items on the ground – or especially in a basement – it’s vital to keep them as protected from the elements as possible. Check your plastic bins to make sure they’re not cracked anywhere (which could allow water to enter in) and replace them if they are. Keep any important papers or photographs off of the floor directly.
4. Clean out your rain gutters. An overflowing rain gutter can send water into your house, and potentially cause damage to your home’s exterior. Roofs are impermeable surfaces which can lead to a large amount of water runoff anytime it rains or snows, so it’s vital to keep your rain gutters cleaned out and pointed away from your home, so water doesn’t pool at the base.
5. Check your home’s perimeter and foundation. Make sure water can’t enter your home from anywhere outside through the foundation. If water does pool at your home’s base, it could potentially get inside if the ground around the perimeter doesn’t slope away from the house. Large puddles of water that can’t sink into the ground eventually will end up somewhere, and you don’t want it to be your basement!
6. Look for leaks! It’s wise to look around your house every so often – both the interior and exterior – to make sure there aren’t any potential problem areas. Check your walls, windows, ceilings, and floors for possible leaks, cracks, or holes. Also, inspect your bathtubs and showers for any cracks that may need re-caulked.
7. Consider Installing Water Alarms. Many people don’t know about water alarms, but these devices are very similar to smoke alarms. When water is detected, an alarm is triggered which warns you of a water threat. These can be placed in basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, or next to a home’s sump pump. Water alarms can be purchased from Amazon, Honeywell, and Home Depot, among other places.
These are some simple measures you can take to protect your home from possible water damage.
Following these tips can help prevent winter water damage and ensure a warm and cozy season! However, if you live in or near Meridian, ID and you experience any water damage this winter (or any season!) know that Elite Restoration is here to help, with 24/7 emergency service and a response time of less than one hour! We will help detect the source of the problem, as well as restore your home back to its original state!