Protecting Your Minnesota Home from Fall and Early Winter Storms
When the fall season is in full swing, there are many ways to enjoy the change in Minnesota. People embrace the cooler weather and visit pumpkin patches, there are different flavors and foods to indulge in, and it also means that the holiday season is approaching soon.
While it’s important to enjoy the change in seasons, it also important to use this time to prepare your home for potential fall storms and early winter storms that the change in seasons comes with. This is especially the case for those who reside in an area where winter means severe cold and snow.
Preparing your home now as opposed to later in the year can make a significant difference. Proactive measures will mean that your home is ready for storms before they become a threat. If you wait until storms are more prone, then you risk your home suffering potential damage that could have been avoided.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can protect your home from fall storms and early winter storms in the Minneapolis, MN area.
Conduct Exterior Home Maintenance
You should conduct cleaning and repairs on the outside of your home to ensure it’s in good condition when storms hit. The amount of repairs you need to make will depend on the condition of your home and its materials. Some things you should keep an eye out for include any cracks in your foundation and other materials and damaged items.
For example, if you discover that your roof has missing or damaged shingles, then take the time to replace them. This will ensure that your roof can provide effective protection against precipitation and other outside elements. If you allow your roof to use damaged shingles or go without a full set, then there’s a chance that water and ice can leak into your home.
If you have trees near your home or surrounding power lines, then you will need to have any potentially hazardous branches trimmed. This will prevent the branches from breaking off and falling into your home or knocking over power lines.
You will also want to inspect your gutters and see if they need to be cleaned out. If they are clogged with leaves and other debris, then the gutters cannot direct water away from your home. Instead, any water that makes its way to the gutters will accumulate and eventually pool over. The water then stays near your residence and increases the chance for water damage.
Prevent Ice Dam Formation
The combination of freezing outside temperatures and warm interior temperatures can result in the formation of ice dams. The heat from your home melts any snow and ice from the middle of your home’s roof. Then the water moves down the roof only to refreeze at the roof’s edge, forming an ice dam.
Such an occurrence can lead to water damage, so you’ll want to prevent ice dams from forming. To do this, keep the temperature in your home 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. You can do this by keeping light out of the attic, using a fan, and ventilating the area. Removing snow and ice from your roof before it can create an ice dam is helpful as well.
Consider investing in a roof rake as well if you don’t already have one. As snow accumulates on your home’s roof, there’s a greater chance for the roof to collapse. A roof rake will allow you to brush snow off your roof to prevent such an occurrence. It’s also a safer option compared to going up on your roof with a shovel.
Prepare Your Pipes for Cold Weather
Winter is a threat to your home’s frozen pipes, because the severely cold temperatures put pipes at risk of freezing. When pipes freeze, any water that’s inside of them turns to ice. This change in state causes the water to expand as it turns into ice. This ice then places interior pressure on the pipe. If it puts enough pressure, then the ice will cause a pipe burst.
You can prevent frozen pipes and pipe bursts by keeping your home’s pipes warm. One way to do this is to wrap the pipes with insulation. It also helps to let warm air reach pipes beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks by opening the cabinets.
Allowing the water to drip out of your faucets helps as well. Even the slowest water drip will help, because the water continues to flow throughout pipes. This movement then prevents the water from freezing up.
Get Safety Devices
In the winter, people use heat-producing items more. This includes generators, furnaces, and stoves that burn charcoal, propane, or wood. These items produce carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas. With an increased use of such heat-producing items, there’s a greater risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. To prevent such an occurrence, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector. If you already have one, then you should test it to make sure it still works correctly.
Make Emergency Kits
In the event that there’s a severe storm, you want to make sure you’re prepared to handle such a situation at home. To help, set aside time to put together emergency kits: one to keep in your home and another one to store in your car.
The kit should contain, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, spare batteries, extra cash, a first-aid kit, seven days’ worth of any necessary medications, and three days’ worth of food and water for your family. Don’t forget to include food and water for your pets as well.
What to Do About Water Damage
If you find that your home has sustained water damage or flood damage as a result of a fall storm or another source, then you should seek professional help immediately. Failing to do so will allow the damage to worsen, and you’ll want the damage addressed before any winter storms come.
ServiceMaster Professional Services can help Minnesota homes that have suffered water or flood damage through the professional water damage restoration services we provide. Within our water damage restoration services, our professional technicians will assess the damage, extract any excess water and moisture, dry your property, and clean your home. This will ensure that your home is restored to a clean, healthy living environment again so that you can be comfortable throughout the colder seasons.