How Much Damage Can A Winter Storm Do?
Winter storms can do a lot of damage. In 2021, there were $15 billion dollars of winter storm damage. That was damage caused by snow, ice, freezing, and flooding. A catastrophic reality, more so when you realize that most of this damage came from two winter storms that swept through the U.S. on February 12 and 22.
Winter storms are severe weather events that coincide with varieties of precipitation (occurring at freezing temperatures) like snow, mixed snow, and rain, or freezing rain. These weather events can last for hours or they can last for days. They can cut off the heat, power, and even communication services. Winter storms also stress test your home and cause severe damage.
As mentioned, answering “how much damage” is somewhat difficult. It really depends on your home and circumstances.
To better understand the answer, it’s best to understand the types of winter storm damage there are and then understand your potential exposure to these winter weather events.
WHAT TYPES OF DAMAGE?
Damage caused by snow.
Properties are at risk of roof collapse. Snow is precipitation, in other words, water. Because it’s in this non-liquid state it doesn’t roll off the roof, it collects and gathers. As enough snow gathers on your roof, the combined weight of all the snow is too much for your home's roof structure. The roof may collapse from the weight.
To prevent this, homes located in areas with greater amounts of snowfall have steeper pitched roofs to encourage snow to slide off roofs rather than collect.
Snow also damages the siding of homes. Another problem during winter months is water seeping into a home through the siding or the foundation. Homes are insulated and warm. As snow rests upon these warm structures, snow melts and eventually may seep into the property causing water damage and mold problems.
Damage caused by ice and freezing.
During winter weather, there is ample opportunity for the freezing, melting and then re-freezing of water. We have water piped throughout our homes; this water is vulnerable to lower temperatures. As water freezes, water expands and has the ability to burst the pipes running through your property. Once the temperature begins to rise, the water begins to flow again and eventually flows into the different spaces of your home.
Ice dams are also typical winter storm damage realities. Ice dams occur when water fails to flow properly through gutters. Water then seeps into your property damaging ceilings and walls.
Damage caused by flooding.
Flooding is also a worry during severe winter storms. Flooding happens because of bursting pipes and collapsing roofs, etc. Too much water or snow melts if it gets too hot, causing a disruption to the natural pattern of melting and evaporation.
Winter storm damage is easily prevented through basic precautions! Knowing the types of damages gives you the opportunity to properly prepare. Homeowners prevent pipe bursts by wrapping and insulating pipes. Also, when the temperatures drop, homeowners turn on faucets for a constant flow of water that minimizes freezing. Regular inspection and maintenance also prevent your roof from collapsing or suffering from damage. If you need help after winter storm damage or have questions about winter storm preparation, contact our team at AdvantaClean!