How to Keep Your Home or Commercial Building Safe from Water Damage During a Winter Storm

Water Damage Safety Tips

Storm warning! Living in Maine, you never know what to expect with the weather. When a blizzard is headed your way, there are tips to remember to keep your home or business safe from water damage after a winter storm.

Protect Your Water Pipes: Temperatures can easily drop too low during a power outage and pipes can freeze. A burst pipe is a recipe for costly and extensive damage. To prevent your pipes from freezing, consider the following:

  • Use a backup generator or woodstove in case of a power outage emergency to keep your home or business warm.
  • Seal your doors and windows to keep the heat inside.
  • Insulate openings in your attic like vents, plumbing stacks, and access doors.

Prevent Ice Dams: Ice can build-up on roof ledges or around drains, which keep melting snow from draining properly and causes water to seep into walls, ceilings, and insulation! To prevent this from happening, keep your gutters and downspouts clean, trim trees around the edges of your home or business, add insulation above the ceiling to increase roof ventilation, and make it a habit to inspect your roof’s drainage.

Check Out Your Roof:  How much can it really hold? Most can support 20 pounds per square foot of snow, but every building is different. The steeper your roof, the less snow will accumulate. Extra care should be taken on parts of the roof that are flat, like over a porch. Be careful when trying to remove snow yourself. Never use a ladder. Opt for a snow rake, where you can remove snow safely from the ground. Letting snow pile up could result in a caved-in roof and water damage.

Be Careful with Alternative Heat Sources:  Non-electric heat sources are perfect when there is a power outage or when you’re trying to keep your heating bills low and pipes nice and warm, but make sure this equipment is kept clean and not placed near flammable items. Electric heaters should be up to code and you should be aware of how to work and maintain them properly, or you could risk a fire.

Act quickly if water damage does occur after a winter storm: You can minimize the damage if you act fast. Octagon Cleaning & Restoration are the local emergency water restoration experts that insurance professionals, property managers, commercial building owners and homeowners count on to tackle even the toughest jobs. They are proud members of the Better Business Bureau and are IICRC-certified.