winter-water-damage-denver-1030x686Winter is creeping up on and before you know it there everything will be covered in snow. With the freezing temps comes the risk of home water damage. In 2013, water damage accounted for 26.4 percent of the total homeowners and renters insurance losses. But most of the common causes of winter water damage can be avoided by some basic preparation prior to winter’s arrival. Below are common causes of water damage Denver residents should know about and how to avoid them.

Blocked Gutters
Fall is the perfect time of year to take care of your gutters. If dead leaves, dirt, and other debris have caused any blockages in the gutter there’s a good chance the buildup of snow and water could freeze, which could end up causing damage to both your gutter and your roof. You should also ensure that your downspout is clear and that it leads directly into a drainpipe, rain barrel, or as far away from your foundation as possible.

Once you are sure your gutters are ready for winter, take a walk around your foundation to check for any areas where water might pool and enter the foundation. Whether you have cement, pavers, or simply grass around your home it is of vital importance that these surfaces have proper grading to direct water runoff away from your home’s foundation.

Next on your winter prep list should be checking your windows. If you have windows that are flush with your home’s exterior and don’t have a larger roof overhang to protect it, you need to make sure that your windows have been installed properly and caulked in order to keep water out. Depending on the window type, this generally includes head flashing and weep holes. When checking your windows, make sure that the weep holes aren’t clogged, the window closes securely, and the caulk doesn’t need repairing.

A common issue in the winter is ice damming, which happens then the snow on the roof melts from the heat of the home and then freezes again when it hits the colder overhang. The main way to prevent this issue is to maintain uniform roof temperature by installing proper attic insulation and allowing for proper ventilation.

Frozen Pipes
Probably the most well-known winter water damage issue, water pipes are at risk of freezing and rupturing whenever the outdoor temperatures hit 28 degrees or lower. To prevent this, check for and seal any cracks or gaps in the exterior walls that let pipes come into contact with the cold air. In addition, use pipe insulation on water supply lines and consider letting your indoor taps run at a trickle overnight if extreme cold temperatures are expected. And if you will be leaving your home for a few days, it is usually smart to turn off the main water line before you go.

Avoiding water damage is all about preparation. In the unfortunate case find yourself in need of Denver water damage restoration this winter,contact us and let us help you get your home back to normal.