Winter storm damage is a real threat this time of year all across the country. Historic blizzards have become commonplace of late, as polar vortex conditions invade the United States more often. Even during a normal winter, your home or business is at risk of damage from heavy snow, freezing rain and all the related complications these threats can cause. It helps to be prepared for winter weather emergencies, and this is especially true if you plan to be out of town. Sometimes though, despite taking all the appropriate precautions, Mother Nature wins. Below are some valuable suggestions and tips for keeping your home safe, warm and dry while waiting for winter to pass.
Winter Weather Property Damage Risks
Heavy winter storms challenge municipal infrastructure and buildings of all types. Power outages are common, and as a result, some homes and businesses are left without heat. Even those cities that rarely experience winter storms are at risk, sometimes even more so if residents aren't familiar with proper preparation techniques. Snow or ice buildup on any part of your home brings risks, as do trees that become laden with ice. Frozen pipes are the most common risk, and potentially the most damaging. Broken pipes have the ability to cause catastrophic flooding inside your home. In its wake, this flooding can destroy a home and everything in it. Subsequently, mold may develop, putting your health and the health of your family at risk and potentially degrading your property's value.
Protecting Your Home or Business Facility from Winter Weather
Start by adopting a plan for alternate heat and energy sources, such as a gasoline- powered generator. Keep your home well maintained, especially your roof, gutters, heating and plumbing systems, windows and doors. If you plan to be away from home for more than a day, turn off the main water valve to your home and drain the plumbing system before you leave. Even though some types of storm damage may not be covered, maintain good homeowner's insurance. The American Red Cross recommends that every household assemble an emergency preparedness kit, including a battery-operated radio, flashlight, medication, first-aid kit, water and sufficient food supplies for three days per person.
How to Handle Winter Weather Damage to Your Property
When faced with damage and loss, it can be difficult to know where to turn first. Most winter storm damage requires the attention of a professional. Safety risks are inherent in snow-covered roofs, icicles and flooded buildings. If you have an accumulation of snow or ice on your roof, especially if the home is older, experts recommend calling a disaster services company to remove it before structural or water damage occurs. Homeowner's insurance will pay for some types of damage, particularly if it occurs as a result of a specific and identifiable incident, such as a wind storm. Although burst pipes are sometimes covered, it may be difficult to prove your claim. If you fail to leave your heat on and the pipes freeze, you definitely won't be covered.
Just as you would in the event of a summer storm, contact a disaster restoration specialist when you experience winter storm damage. They can extract water, seal unwanted openings and begin the restoration process to prevent mold. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, weather damage happens. Be prepared to contact a restoration professional at the first sign of winter storm damage.
Jill Smith is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.
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