Finishing Your Basement

5 Ways To Shield Your Home From Winter Storms

As potentially dangerous winter storms hit several areas of the country, you may be wondering what you can do to protect your home and your property this year. Winter storms can bring serious problems, including damage to your roof, a flooded basement, and more, unless you take precautions. Here are five ways to protect your home from impending winter storms:

Have New Rain Gutters Installed

If your rain gutters are old and worn out, hanging haphazardly from the roof, or you suspect they aren't long enough for your home, it's time to have them replaced. By purchasing new rain gutters and having them professionally installed, you will be ensuring that rain and snow are directed away from your home.

If you have missing or broken gutters, or gutters that weren't installed properly, the rain and snow from storms can easily leak into your home, potentially causing water damage, flooding, mildew, and even structural damage to your foundation. While it is possible to install rain gutters yourself, a professional will know exactly where to install them to best protect your house, and you will get to avoid the potential danger of climbing onto a tall ladder and onto the roof.

Wrap Your Pipes

One common danger caused by extremely cold weather and snowstorms is burst pipes. In order to prevent your pipes from bursting and flooding your house, you have to keep them somewhat warm, even when it's freezing out. One simple and affordable way to do that is to purchase pipe insulation wraps from any major home improvement or hardware store. Wrap the pipes in any areas of your home that are unheated, such as an unfinished basement or crawlspace.

Seal Your Attic

If hot air is allowed to escape into the attic, it can lead to uneven snow melting on the roof, which in turn creates potentially damaging ice dams. Ice dams can cause your gutters and shingles to loosen or fall off and can also lead to serious water damage. This problem can be prevented by making sure your attic is well-insulated and sealed. Check for cracks and holes on the ceiling and near ceiling fans and light fixtures, and seal them with putty or caulk. This will help keep heat in your home where it belongs, instead of in the attic.

Remove Excess Snow from Roof

If snow accumulates on the roof and never has a chance to thaw before it snows even more, serious damage can happen to your roof and your house as a whole. Accumulating snow can cause water leaks, damaged shingles, and in extreme cases can even cause your entire roof to collapse.  

One way to help prevent this is to make sure your gutters are clean before the next snow, since clear gutters will give melting and falling snow a place to go that is directed away from your house. You can also clear as much excess snow from your roof as possible, either by using a roof rake designed for this purpose or by hiring a roofing company to safely perform this task for you.

Have Backup Heat Sources

Severe winter storms can cause utilities to go down, including your heat. This can quickly become an emergency when the temperatures are frigid outside. Be sure to have a plan in place for keeping your family warm should you find yourselves without heat. Battery-operated portable heaters are great to have on hand in an emergency.

If you live in an area with frequent power outages in the winter, you may wish to consider investing in a back-up power generator. The expense will be well worth it when you have electricity and heat during a power outage caused by a bad storm.

By taking protective measures, you can help ensure that your home successfully weathers any winter storm that heads your way.

For more information and options, talk with contractors that specialize in rain gutters and roofing, such as Custom Exteriors.