When Snow, Freezing Rain and Ice Storms Damage Your Property
Canada’s winters bring sudden, unpredictable weather – cold temperatures, snow blizzards, sleet and freezing rain. All can cause costly damage to property. In fact, as Environment Canada reports, Canada has one of the most severe winter climates of any country in the world.
Whether you’re a commercial property owner, property manager or homeowner, you can take steps to prepare for winter. Be aware of danger zones and where damage is most likely to occur:
- Roof – The slope of a roof affects how much snow can build up. A flatter roof means more snow and ice can collect, putting pressure on the roof and leading to water damage as snow melts. After a heavy snowfall, large commercial buildings with flat roofs are most at risk of collapsing and causing further structural damage.
- Ice Dams – When water gets trapped between your roof and a layer of ice, it can freeze into a dam at the edge of the roof, near eavestroughs. Ice damage is easy to miss and can cause leaks, followed by mould and structural damage to ceilings and walls.
- Water Pipes – Plunging temperatures may cause pipes to freeze and then burst. Without proper insulation, outdoor pipes and pipes in unheated areas such as basements, garages and crawlspaces are most vulnerable.
- Flooding – A spring thaw can lead to roof leaks as water seeps into cracks and damaged vents. Basements can also flood when large amounts of snow and ice melt quickly.
How we can help
If your home or business has been damaged by a winter storm, it is important to act quickly and seek professional restoration help. A major risk with winter damage is that the full extent goes undetected until spring – leading to additional issues and costly repairs.
FirstOnSite Restoration specialists are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) – meaning they know what to look for and which methods to best use.
We work together with you and your insurance company to restore your property to its previous condition:
- Assessing damage to structural aspects of a building – roofs, walls, ceilings, floors – and completing full restoring or rebuilding.
- Removing snow loads on roofs safely, including installing heating cables and applying chemical deicers to improve drainage.
- Cutting channels in ice dams and if necessary, removing gutters.
- Inspecting for and repairing any electrical damage.
- Uncovering hidden pockets of moisture within insulation and wall cavities using thermal imaging cameras to prevent growth of mould.
- Installing drying and dehumidification equipment in cases of water damage; equipment remains in place until the area has been dried/dehumidified to industry standards, verified through daily moisture and humidity readings.
Our dedicated resources and state-of-the-art equipment are stationed across Canada to serve at a moment’s notice. We are available to respond to emergency calls 24 hours/day, 7 days a week.
Marlene G., Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Commercial Client Services
Commercial Customer, Ontario