How to Winter-Proof Your Home Against Water Damage

Seven Ways to Keep Your Property Safe

With winter storms on the horizon, many homeowners are getting furnace tuneups and purchasing emergency power generators. However, water damage from melting snow and leaky or burst pipes can be just as bad as furnace breakdowns and power outages. Here are seven ways to prevent winter water damage in your Fort Wayne, Indiana, home:

1. Invest in Sewer Backup Insurance

Excessive water from melting snow can overtax a sewer system to the point where it backs up into your home. Raw sewage can destroy your home and everything in it. Sewer backup damage isn’t covered under most homeowners’ policies, but it can be purchased as an additional product.

2. Locate Your Water Shutoff Valves

If your pipes freeze or burst, being able to turn off the water quickly can prevent excessive water damage. You can also install a pressure release valve to reduce pressure caused by frozen pipes and keep them from bursting.

3. Have Your Pipes Checked for Leaks

Most plumbing companies offer plumbing inspections and leak detection services. Locating and sealing cracks and leaks in pipes can prevent thousands of dollars worth of damage. Even a small leak could allow up to 250 gallons of water to flood your home in just one day.

4. Insulate Pipes

Keep pipes warm in freezing weather with a plug-in heating cable or with extra insulation. Pipes in attics, basements, behind cabinets and in crawl spaces are most likely to freeze or burst. Drip your faucets when the temps are below freezing and leave cabinets open to keep the pipes behind them warm.

5. Clean Rain Gutters

Rain gutter debris prevent melting snow and ice from draining off the roof. Dirty gutters also cause ice dams to form because water melting on the roof has nowhere to drain. Instead of draining, it forms a dam around the edges of the roof that traps the remaining water on the roof. Trapped behind ice dams, this water can seep into your home and cause leaks in walls and ceilings, damage your insulation and cause mold to grow. 6. Remove Snow From the Roof

6. Remove Snow From the Roof

Snow buildup on the roof can also cause ice dams, so it should be removed promptly. You can purchase an implement called a roof rake or use a push broom to remove the snow. Ice dams form when heat from your home melts the snow in the center of the roof and it reforms into ice along the roof’s perimeter. To prevent this, keep your attic no more than 10 degrees warmer than the temperature outside, and seal any holes in the attic to keep warm air from leaking out.

7. Inspect Your Home’s Exterior

If your Fort Wayne, Indiana, home has sustained water damage, the pros at Paul Davis Restoration offer 24/7 emergency water damage restoration service. The faster the problem is treated, the less damage it will cause.