It’s a homeowner’s nightmare to come home to a damaged house. Unfortunately, winter weather can cause all sorts of problems, from frozen pipes to cracked foundations. We’ve compiled some ways winter can damage your home and what you can do to prevent it.
1. Snow and Ice Damage
A common problem in winter is damage from snow and ice. Heavy snow can cause roofs to collapse, and ice can break windows. To prevent this type of damage, clear snow and ice from your roof and gutters regularly. Be sure to shovel any snow away from your foundation to prevent water from seeping in and causing cracking.
2. Frozen Pipes
One of the most common problems in winter is frozen pipes. When water freezes, it expands and can cause pipes to burst. This can lead to serious water damage in your home. To prevent frozen pipes, insulate all the exposed pipes in your home and keep the heat on, even when you’re away. You should also let your faucets drip a little bit to keep the water flowing and prevent it from freezing.
3. Cold Weather Cracks
The cold weather can also cause cracks in your foundation or walls. This is because the ground freezes and contracts in winter, which can put pressure on your foundation. To prevent this type of damage, make sure your home is well-insulated and that any cracks are repaired promptly.
4. Heating Damage
Another common problem in winter is damage from heating systems. If your furnace is not properly maintained, it can overheat and start a fire. To prevent this type of damage, have your furnace serviced regularly and be sure to change the filter regularly. You should also keep anything flammable, like newspapers, away from your furnace.
5. Ice Dams
Another problem that can occur in winter is an ice dam. This happens when snow on your roof melts and then refreezes, forming a dam that prevents water from draining properly. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof and even lead to leaks. To prevent this, make sure your roof is properly insulated and that there is no build-up of snow or ice. You should also remove any snow from your roof regularly.
6. Roof Leaks
Another common problem in winter is roof leaks. This can happen when snow and ice melt and then refreeze, forming a dam that prevents water from draining properly. Roof leaks can also be caused by wind damage or improper installation. To prevent this type of damage, have your roof inspected regularly and make sure it is in good repair.
7. Mould Safety
Another problem that can occur in winter is mould growth. This is because the cold, damp weather provides the perfect conditions for mould to grow, especially in our BC rainforest climate. Mould can cause serious health problems, so it’s important to prevent it from growing in your home. To do this, keep your home well-ventilated and dry, and clean any mouldy areas promptly. Consider buying or renting a dehumidifier to help control the humidity in your home.
8. Fireplace Safety
Another common problem in winter is damage from fireplaces. If your fireplace is not properly maintained, it can overheat and start a fire. To prevent this type of damage, have your fireplace serviced regularly. You should also keep anything flammable, like newspapers, away from your fireplace.
9. Slip and Fall Injuries
Another common problem in winter is slip and fall injuries. This is because ice and snow can make walkways and stairs treacherously slippery. To prevent this type of injury, ensure all the walkways and stairs in your home are clear of snow and ice. Buy some salt to sprinkle on the walkways and stairs. You should also wear proper footwear when you’re walking on icy surfaces.
10. Winter Storms
Another hazard that can occur in winter is damage from winter storms. These storms can cause high winds and heavy snow, which can damage your home. To prevent this type of damage, make sure your home is well-insulated and that any cracks are repaired promptly to prevent further harm. You should also be prepared for power outages by having a generator on hand.
Click here to learn more about how to stay safe during winter weather.
Concluding Thoughts on Home Safety in Winter
Winter can be a beautiful time of year, but it’s important to be aware of the hazards it can pose to your home. By taking some simple precautions, you can prevent damage to your home and keep your family safe all winter long.
Check out our article on 8 Simple Ways To Winterize Your Home.