Winter is cold and uncomfortable, and unfortunately also brings with it the very scary possibility of your home suffering from water damage. Rain in the warmer months isn’t the only cause. When temperatures dip below freezing, there are several other things that can cause serious water damage to your home. Luckily, many of these can be prevented with some regular maintenance and inspection. Here are the top causes of water damage and how to avoid the stress and hefty bills from water damage repair.
Extreme low temperatures can wreak havoc on pipes. It is not from water freezing and expanding, however. It is more from the water pressure that increases if there is a blockage. As the water backs up, the pressure becomes unbearable for the pipe, which can then burst. The best way to prevent this is to have your pipes insulated. This will keep them warm and prevent ice blockages from forming.
Pipe sleeves are usually enough to do the trick. Any pipes that lead to or are in the outdoors, including those in the garage, should be properly insulated. You should also make sure that the temperature in your home is always at least 55 degrees, even if you are going to be away for a long trip. What you spend on energy will be more than made up for by not having a plumbing disaster on your hands. Another trick is to leave your faucets dripping so that water does not have a chance to freeze.
Too many homeowners take their gutters for granted. However, they play an important role in directing water to a safe place so that it cannot damage your home. If your gutters get blocked up with ice or debris, then you may have serious problems. If water is allowed to freeze inside your gutter, then excess water can then seep up under your shingles. This water can then seep into your home and cause damage.
If snow or ice on your roof are melting and causing the problem, it is a sign that your insulation is not sufficient, since, heat is escaping to the exterior. This can help prevent ice dams. Also, do your best to keep your gutters clear at all times, so that water does not have a chance to build up and freeze as a blockage. Lastly, make sure you replace or repair any damaged shingles you might spot as soon as possible.
The freezing temperature outside can make exterior water sources even more dangerous than in the summer. It is important to take preventative action to avoid problems. This means that you should drain any garden hoses and store them somewhere warm during the winter.
This way, water will not freeze and expand inside of them. Shut off your outdoor water valves as well. If a pipe bursts in the winter, then water can come rushing back into your home very quickly. Make sure that if this happens, you clean it up immediately to prevent the development and formation of mold.