Be prepared for the change of seasons
As summertime heat gives way to crisp Montana autumn air, it’s only a matter of time until temperatures dip below freezing and rooftops and yards are covered in glistening white snow. Although it may seem premature, now is the perfect time to make a list of what needs to be done around your property to prepare for winter. Many of us don’t think of possible water damage during the winter months, as we associate that more with flooding from spring and summer rains. However frozen pipes, snow on your roof, and ice trapped in gutters are all sources of potential water damage in and around your home. If left unattended not only can restoration be costly but mold, allowed to flourish in spaces we can’t see, can affect your health.
The following tips will help prevent water damage at your property:
Remove all debris so water from the snow melting off your roof does not get trapped, refreeze and cause an ice dam. As the ice melts water can leak through the roof and seep into your attic or crawl space and eventually damage the ceiling of your house as well. Also, if gutters are clogged, water can drip and pool on the ground next to your home’s foundation causing potential damage.
Prevent frozen water pipes that can crack under pressure and flood when the ice inside melts. Insulate pipes in attics, outside walls, or crawl spaces and keep cabinet doors open underneath sinks so warm air from your house can circulate around the pipes. Also, if temperatures dip very low and you plan to be out for a while, leave faucets on a slow drip. You can also invest in a detection system that will monitor water pressure and signal a water shut-off if you have a leak or blocked pipes.
Shut off water to outdoor sources
Make sure that water to hoses and spigots is shut off. Disconnect hoses to prevent water from freezing in the line creating a blockage that can cause a backflow leading to a leak inside your home. Also, drain the water from hoses and store them away for the winter so they don’t freeze and crack.
Watch for snow and ice build-up
Check your home regularly for snow and ice build-up; especially on the roof, in gutters, and any ground-level windows or doors. Take time to clear snow away from these areas as they are susceptible to water leaks. Check your basement regularly to make sure the walls, windows, and doors are properly sealed. Also, inspect water pipes along outside walls for cracks and drips.
Vacant house preparation
Turn off the water supply if you’re going to be out of town for an extended period of time or have a vacant rental property.
Fall is also an ideal time to repair your roof, clean your gutters, fix or replace gutters, downspouts, and pipes before the damage becomes even more costly than repairs. If you notice or suspect any water in your home, act immediately.