By Kara Masterson
Winter means cold temperatures and snow on the ground. Although this season is beautiful, the frigid weather means that the extreme elements winter can bring can also damage various areas in your home.
Below are a few areas you may want to keep in mind as temperatures starts to drop across the U.S., as it could lead to you circumventing one, if not all, of the possible ways your home could suffer damage from the incoming ice, snow and water:
Poor roof ventilation and insulation can permit warm air from inside your heated home to melt the snow accumulated on your roof. As the snow melts, it drips to the cooler edges of the roof and freezes, which can create an ice dam.
The middle of your roof is warm, so the melted snow will likely not freeze. The remaining water will start to find its way onto your shingles, creating roof leaks. It's a good idea to have a professional inspect your roof annually for signs of damage.
Cracking Exterior Paint
If you painted the exterior of your home in the fall, it's wise to set aside a little bit of paint for the spring. The extreme temperature changes caused by the winter can let moisture from snow get between the paint and the siding. This could cause the paint to peel. If you repaint the siding during the spring, you will protect your home from the next winter.
The water pipes in your attic, basement and other cold areas in your home are susceptible to freezing during the winter months as water expands when it freezes. If this happens within your plumbing pipes, it can create small cracks in the pipes as the ice grows too big to fit in the pipes, even causing them to burst if the ice expands far enough.
When the ice eventually thaws, the cracks left behind mean that water is able to leak right into your home. You can easily protect your pipes by lining them with heating tape. Also, keep your thermostat at a consistent temperature day and night. If you're going to be out of town for an extended amount of time, drain your water pipes and shut them off. This can help prevent them from bursting while you're away and unable to immediately fix the problem.
Foundation and Driveway Cracks
Over time, cracks can develop in your asphalt driveway or in your home’s foundation. As this happens, water will enter the small gaps. During the winter months, the water will freeze, causing the cracks to expand.
Every time this process is repeated, the cracks will expand more and more. With time, a small crack on your driveway could become a pothole. To avoid expensive damage, inspect your home’s foundation and your driveway every year, and seal any cracks or holes during the summer months.
Winter is a beautiful time of the year, however, extreme cold and precipitation can wreak havoc on your home. Prepare your property now and make the needed repairs during the spring to keep your home looking its best.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with her family. If you are looking for a plumber in the Houston, Texas area, Masterson recommends contacting Du-West Services.