Canadian’s all know we only have two seasons in the year: 9 months of winter, and 3 months of road work.
Every year, Canadians suffer through a harsh winter only to enjoy a brief summer season full of mosquitoes and horse flies. Then winter comes around again to wreak havoc on your property.
Learn from those who’ve weathered a few winters: we prepare properties against the damage that cold weather brings every year. This week, educate yourself on the potential damages that winter could bring to your property, and then in our next blog, we’ll tell you how to protect yourself against them.
Heavy Snow and Ice
In a particularly strong storm the snow can quickly build up on the roof of your home or building. It may look aesthetically appealing, but it’s putting a substantial weight burden on the building’s structure.
Snow is heavy and can add up fast. Other precipitation, like rain, will wash away, but snow just collects and puts excessive weight on the roof. Another property killer is the ice that can build up. If the weather warms and cools, the snow will melt and freeze again. This is not only a hazard due to weight, but trees lose limbs more easily and can damage the building if they break off or collapse.
Another potential disaster that your house has to face each year are the little ice dams that develop over the season. The gutters and drains get blocked up with too much ice, and when snow melts a little on a sunny day, the water has nowhere to run.
That water will collect up in the gutters and even seep back into the house if left unattended. It seeps under shingles and under the fascia of the home, building up the damp and leading to rot.
When the winter hits, the water in your pipes has a good chance of freezing up. The problem is not just that you turn on the taps and nothing comes out.
As you may remember from your high school chemistry class, water expands when it freezes. So, when it freezes inside the confines of a pipe, it has nowhere to go, and bursts the pipe. Dealing with a burst pipe and potential flooding on a cold winter night is something that no sane person wants to manage.
Melting Ice and Snow
If you have all your gutters and drains clear, that’s great! But eventually, when all that winter snow finally melts, it has to go somewhere. If your home doesn’t have adequate drainage, the melted snow and ice presents a sudden deluge that can flood basements and damage foundations. If your building’s basement is below the water table, it’s a good idea to have a sump pump to deal with all the excess water the melted ice and snow brings. Otherwise you may find yourself in need of a professional rescue when the flooding begins.
Sometimes, a little knowledge is enough to help prevent any winter disasters. Take the time to look at the potential areas where winter could hit you the hardest to avoid these issues this cold season. Stay tune for next week when we’ll give you our expert advice on winterizing your property.