With winter approaching fast, it is advisable to ensure everything in your house is working correctly and in good condition. Leaking roofs, pipes, and ice dams can wreak havoc in your home creating thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
Protecting your home against the cold weather, and especially frozen pipes and leaking roofs, is vital for your house. Although many people may not know this, winter water damage can be as severe (or even worse), than spring all summer water problems. Discussed below are a few tips on the causes of winter water damage, and what to do to prevent such.
Ice dams can cause significant damage to the attic, insulation and the roof as well. An ice dam is formed when hot air in the attic melts snow on the roof causing water to collect on unheated or cold roof space.
The collected water may accumulate over time, or even be forced up the roof just under the roofing shingles. This affects the quality and strength of the shingles as they start to decay slowly.
The only best way to prevent this is by ensuring your roof is in its best condition, and that the gutters are clear as well. This means you have to inspect the roof regularly or just before winter to remove leaves or any other form of obstruction from the same.
In addition to this, you need to ensure the attic is properly insulated and the floor airtight to prevent heat transfer. Seal off any openings on light fixtures, exhaust pipes, and fireplaces. The attic should also be well ventilated to help regulate temperatures up there. This helps prevent or minimize the size of the ice dam, should there be one.
These are the leading causes of water damage in many Los Angeles homes in winter. Pipes exposed to extremely cold temperatures freeze together with the contents inside. The freezing action not only causes the pipes to be fragile and weak but also leads to increased water pressure. It only takes a matter of time before the pipes burst open leading to flooding.
Proper and adequate insulation is the first step to reducing/preventing freezing in pipes. While you may be enticed into insulating the pipes yourself, it would be wiser hiring a plumber to help with the same. The pipes need to be insulated entirely including corners and elbows. You should also have the water heater insulated as well.
As an added precaution, make sure water in these pipes is constantly flowing especially deep into winter. Allowing water to drip slowly prevents chances of standing water, hence reducing the risk of frozen pipes. Pipes in the basement are at the greatest danger of freezing or bursting open. Sealing holes, cracks, and openings in the foundation or walls is a great workaround for this. Be sure to open kitchen cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate under sinks and around pipes inside the enclosure.
Although rare, some roofs (or parts of it) may collapse due to snow accumulation on the same. While standard roofs in Long Beach are capable of handling 20 pounds of snow, it would be advisable to ensure your roof is in a solid condition. You may also need to monitor snow height to prevent parts of the roof from curving in. If doubtful about your roof status, call a certified technician to inspect and diagnose various parts of the roof for a recommendation.
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