Preventing Home Flooding This Winter

People who live in flood-prone areas generally expect flood-related problems to occur in the spring or summer. Apart from the heavy rainfall during these times of the year, the warmer weather conditions allow water to flow unhindered, making flooding more likely. For these reasons, many property owners anticipate the impending floods by getting excess flood insurance well in advance.

But floods are just as likely to occur during winter and can cause as much damage. In some cases, winter floods are even worse given the frost, snow, and cold weather. And when the snow melts as the temperatures rise, flooding can even be worse than during spring or summer.

The problems don’t end there. Apart from the issues directly caused by floodwaters, moisture can work its way into gaps or cracks in the foundation. This can affect floors, walls, and porous surfaces in the home and make winter very uncomfortable. And when the temperature changes, the water that seeps into the house can crack affected areas, causing widespread damage and affecting the structure’s stability.

Homeowners don’t have to take these issues sitting down. There are many preventive measures to reduce the damage that winter flooding could cause. Here are some tips on how you can get your house ready for winter:

Shovel snow away from the foundation

Heavy snow that accumulates around your house can become a major problem in the winter. Try to clear snow away from the perimeter regularly, particularly around the foundation. This will reduce the risk of water damage that can weaken and destroy a home’s foundation. 

Get rid of ice and debris on the roof

Don’t let your client’s allow snow to sit on their roofs all winter. When the weather permits, try to clear away as much of it as possible. This reduces the amount of snow that can melt and cause water damage when the weather gets warmer.

Clear out the gutters

Blocked gutters can be a major headache any time of the year. Because the water cannot flow freely, it often ends up where it can cause considerable damage. The problem is that they are much harder to clean in the winter.

Before the weather turns, make sure to clean out any leaves, branches, or debris that has been collected throughout the year. This will give your clients one less thing to worry about when winter comes.

Get rid of ice dams

Inadequate insulation can be a hassle in the winter, but it also causes another issue that your clients may not be aware of: ice dams. These ice formations develop when the heat escaping from their home via the roof melts the snow. The water then runs off and collects in pools, which can leak into their roof and damage the interior walls. 

Your clients can prevent ice dams from forming by ensuring that their home is properly insulated. This will also keep their house warmer and lower your heating bill.

Check your water heater

A broken water heater is a minor inconvenience at any other time of the year, but it could be a disaster in the dead of winter. Worse still, it can flood your client’s basement and cause considerable water damage. Periodic maintenance can prevent major problems, but make sure to give it a thorough once-over before winter starts as well.

Inspect your pipes and plumbing system

Check the pipes and plumbing system for potential issues before the weather turns cold. Cracks and weakened spots can cause pipes to burst and possibly release a deluge of water throughout your client’s home. Even small leaks should be sealed immediately to prevent the problem from worsening over time.

Winter flooding can be a serious concern, especially if they are unprepared for it. Think about the damage it can cause during the spring and summer months and factor in the other issues that could affect their home in the winter.

The tips outlined above can help minimize the damage caused by winter flooding. But depending on how much water enters the home, some damage can’t be avoided.

If a considerable amount of water makes its way to your foundation despite your precautions, your clients will have to call a flood damage repair specialist as soon as possible to fix the problem. Hopefully, the preventive measures your clients have taken combined with the flood remediation service can restore your home to its former condition.

About Snyder Specialty

Snyder Specialty, LLC is a New York-based underwriting facility that provides a range of property and liability solutions for personal and commercial lines. Specializing in coastal properties and hard-to-place risks, Snyder Specialty expands your current capabilities with proven solutions for complex risks. Find out more about the company’s range of services by calling (718) 362-8039.