Winter Storm Alerts – 5 Ways to Prevent Property Damage
In recent years, we’ve experienced severe ice and snowstorms, deep freezes, and very high winds. Harsh winter weather can cause immediate damage to buildings. The constant buffeting of wind, build-up of snow, and thaw-freeze cycles can also create issues if left unchecked.
As a commercial property owner, property manager or homeowner, the best strategy is to take preventive measures. Follow these five tips to help protect your building from winter storms:
1. Install a gutter guard.
When ice blocks your building’s gutters, water can leak over the edge and collect at the foundation. It can then seep into the basement and damage walls and floors. Adding gutter guards will help to keep out leaves and debris, as well as prevent ice dams.
2. Remove nearby branches
Check the trees around your building. Are branches close enough to damage the roof, windows, or other structures during heavy winds? Then trim them or cut them down. Hire a professional if they are too high or large to remove safely.
3. Let your taps drip
Normally, you want to avoid the cost (and water damage) associated with dripping taps. However, when there is the danger of a deep freeze, let the taps drip a bit. This will prevent the pipes from freezing and reduces the likelihood of bursting.
4. Add more insulation
Heat escapes most from building edges, such as the attic and basement. While these areas are already insulated, you can add extra layers of insulation to help keep heat from escaping. This will prevent ice from building up on your roof, and protect against freezing and bursting pipes.
5. Clear snow from roof
Your roof is designed to handle a certain load, but heavy snowstorms can cause snow to overload its capacity. Constant pressure from snow buildup can cause structural damage and collapse the roof. Remove snow from the roof before a heavy snowstorm hits, as well as immediately after the storm (once it is safe to do so).