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Getting a Head Start On Winter Water Damage Prevention

Water damage almost always increases in frequency during the cold weather months, due in large part to the addition of snow and ice to the regular occurrences of rain that virtually every community has to deal with. Water damage means mold if not properly taken care of, and so the winter season means that it is time to get a head start on water and flood damage prevention. This is done through regular inspection and preventive maintenance for your home or business.

To begin, check your roof for signs of water damage. The roof is the first best line of defense against the elements, and any missing shingles or damaged flashing means that rain, snow, sleet, and ice will have access to the upper floors of your home. Stains on the roof will indicate where there are water problems, if water damage has already occurred, and to what degree.  Water can also puddle up on the roof, which places an additional stress on the structure. These roofs can collapse under the weight of excess water, causing serious injury and additional damage to the structure.  Roofs should also be inspected from the inside of the attic.  If there is any light visible, that means a break or a crack in the seal.  The area should be resealed and caulked to prevent water from coming in.

Check all gutters and downspouts for signs of blockage or obstruction, since snowmelt means a great deal of water can overload your systems in a very short amount of time. Once the overflow starts, the water will definitely go where you don’t need it.  Make sure the gutter system is working properly and that all downspouts properly drain water away from the home.

Any water damage that is discovered should be promptly repaired, even if it appears to be minor. Water damage never improves on its own, and small problems will certainly get progressively worse. Even more important, serious issues such as mold will appear to accompany water damage problems.

As summer gives way to fall, take time now to inspect your home for potential problems, then address those problems as they are discovered. Doing so will mean that you will be able to successfully navigate the winter months with a minimum of frustration.

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