A fresh blanket of snow always transforms a landscape into a scene such as a winter wonderland. Not all snowfalls are peaceful and the aftermath unfortunately can cause tons of damage each foot of snowfall. There are three major water damages, this is how to identify them and address them.
During the snow fall it’s always lovely to watch and admire, however you never think about how much damage that occurs on the foundation of your home. Snow melting is the most likely to cause winter water damage. Water does not respect the home; it simply follows the laws of gravity and temperature change. When the temperature rises, snow melts and this can introduce an immense amount of water all at one time, so it’s good to make sure you have a good drainage system.
There are several ways that moisture from snowmelt can cause damage to your home. The constant freezing and thawing cycle of winter, will cause weakening of the foundation. Moisture freezes and expands forming cracks, which allows further moisture to invade your basement. This process repeats over and over, finally causing gaps in the foundation and weakening the integrity of the foundation.
Moisture that breaches or penetrates the foundation, can cause constant pressure, which results in direct damage inside your basement. Winter water damage continues from the exterior of your foundation until it is able to reach the interior of the home. Once inside, it is able to ruin furniture, appliances or any storage that is in your basement.
The moisture that breaches your foundation causes a constant pressure; flooring and drywall can become damp or even saturated and become a breeding ground for the mold to form.
Freezing pipes, one of the most feared problems known around the winter season. Most well known examples would be: moisture leaks and at worst pipe burst.
The location of the pipe freeze can vary on how serve the case may be. However, Frozen pipes can be prevented, managed or even stopped in an emergency by turning off the water during the winter.
The sump pump is one of the most important steps on properly protecting the damage of freezing pipes. Unfortunately, far too frequently this reaches critical mass before it could even be discovered. This often happens when the pipes burst overnight or when you’re away from the home. The health of the Foundation plays an important role in preventing freezing pipes too. When the exterior wall or around the pipes form cracks, it allows air into your basement and increases the risk of frozen pipes. When you discover these cracks during winter, try to cover them up as soon as you can, but then contact a professional to fix further, so then you won’t have this problem again.
Ice dams are another common source of winter water damage in your home. Ice dams form when ice builds up in and around the gutters and blocks melting snow from properly to the downspouts. When this occurs the water tries to find a different way to drain, which is often the roof and into your home. Damage is more likely going to be to your roof or ceiling, ice dams can clog your downspouts forcing melting ice and snow to overflow your gutters and flow to the ground near your foundation. Make sure when looking around your home to look for blockages, clean away snow or debris, and keep an eye open on the interior of your home for signs of water damage.
Identifying Winter Water Damage
More often than not, the most obvious signs of water damage are moisture stains. These stains typically form on the floor, walls and ceilings. Another sign of moisture is mold and mildew. This is one sign that you may smell before you see it. Keeping in mind that moldy smells are not normal for basements, you should immediately investigate the source of the smell and address the water source right away.
When foundation cracks start to form over time and this is when it’s time to contact a professional for an inspection! This is especially so for cracks on the interior side of your foundation. Cracks that go all the way through your foundation are a sure way to get winter water damage when things begin to thaw.