Preparing your home for winter is a project. Making sure your home is protected during the snow season is equally important. There are things you can do as the weather changes to protect your house from the snow. Don’t wait until it’s too late to keep your home safe during the snow season.

At ServiceMaster by Rice, we want you to be informed about how to protect your house from the snow. You can’t prevent winter weather, blizzards, or snow from coming in contact with your home, but you can prepare yourself and keep you and your family safe. In doing so you can have some peace of mind for the unpredictable events that are bound to happen with Iowa winters.

The Dangers of Ice And Snow

We all enjoy the light white snow as it swirls around outside. It can set a mood and give you a reason to stay inside. However, large amounts of snowfall cause pressure to build on your roof. As the weather changes and the sun begins to melt snow, it can freeze at night, creating ice.

If there is water collecting on your roof with nowhere to go, it will find a way into your home. To prevent internal water damage and soaked carpets and rugs, regularly clean your gutters. This allows melting snow and ice to travel down from your roof and away from your house. As ice builds up, remove ice cycles from overhangs and downspouts. When the sun shines and the temperature increases, it can more easily flow from away from your house.

If you have a single-story home, use a rake or broom to remove snow from your roof. If you are unable to do this or dislike heights, ask for a professional to help. If you have a two story house, we recommend contacting a professional. Falling off of a two-story home can cause severe injuries and even death. By removing the extra weight from your roof, you can reduce any potential leaks when snow and ice add extra weight to your roof.

If you notice discoloration on your ceiling, you may have a leak or some type of water damage. You may notice dampness below that area. If you experience either, contact us. We can help establish the source of the damage and help create a plan for recovery.

Mold and The Cold Weather

Winter creates instability when it comes to temperature. Some winters are very cold, yet others stay relatively calm. Depending on the weather we are having, mold can grow in the right conditions, which include a blend of moisture, warmth, and oxygen.

You can prevent mold by keeping your home clean and dry. Remove your shoes once inside your house. If you notice water or damp rugs or carpet; dry them, or have them cleaned. Hang up coats, gloves, hats, and mittens to try. You can also regularly wash these items after use or coming into contact with snow and ice.

When outdoor temperatures are frigid, typically your indoor temperatures are much warmer. If you have leaks or water damage, mold can potentially grow throughout your home. Mold spores can be very dangerous to you and your family’s health. If you suspect that you have mold growing in your house, here are a few things to watch for.

  • Respiratory problems
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Discoloration on your ceiling
  • Unexplained water or moisture build-up
  • Musty smell

In addition to your health, mold can cause structural damage to your home, if left untreated. If you suspect you have mold growing in your house, contact us. We will conduct mold testing and remove the mold, to keep your house and family safe this snow season.

Water Damage From Frozen Pipes

When the weather falls to the treacherous single degree and below temperatures, we go to great lengths to bundle ourselves up. When it comes to keeping your home safe in cold weathers, your pipes need to be protected as well. Low temperatures can impact water pipes that run through your home, ultimately causing them to burst and cause water damage. Prepare your pipes for the snow season with insulation. This allows pipes to stay warmer in the cold of winter.

Prepare your house for the snow season by running hot water through pipes often. There may be bathrooms you don’t use as often. Make a point to run the shower and skin to keep them warm and functioning properly. Even allowing a slow drip in those bathrooms can keep pipes from freezing. The amount of water wasted is small in comparison to the potential damage of a burst water pipe.

If a pipe does burst in your house, it’s important to know where the water valves are located. The quicker you can shut off the water, the less damage you can expect. Here are some things you can do in the event that you experience a burst pipe.

  • Turn off the water
  • Locate the source of the burst pipe
  • Clear the area of valuables, furniture, rugs, electronics, and carpet (if possible)
  • Dry the area as best as you can
  • Contact ServiceMaster by Rice

Depending on the severity and location of your burst pipe, you may need to leave your house for a short period of time. Contact a friend or family member to let them know of your situation. Prepare a bag and notify your roommate, or partner, in this event. Make arrangements, if needed while your house is properly cleaned and until it is safe to return.

Contact The Home Damage Repair Experts

Taking precautionary steps this winter will allow you and your family to enjoy the comfort of your home during these cold times. If you have any questions about how we can help protect your house, contact us today. We have locations in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, and throughout all of Iowa and southern Minnesota. You can review a full list of the services ServiceMaster by Rice provides as well. Stay safe this winter!