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Freeze/Thaw: Protecting Your Home or Office

snowdrifts on outdoor soccer field in spring low season

As we prepare for yet another few days of freezing temperatures, it’s smart to be aware of exactly what freeze/thaw cycles are and how you can prepare for their occurrence.

Colorado is one of those regions where freeze/thaw cycles are not uncommon. During these cycles, temperatures generally drop below freezing at night, and then rise during the day. It’s especially common during the change of seasons when temperatures hover between cold winter nights and warmer spring days.

Why worry about freeze/thaw cycles? The problem occurs when water makes its way into the cracks and pores of structures. And here’s how water gets into those cracks. As the temperatures drop, water freezes. When it freezes, water actually expands around 10%. Then, as temperatures start to warm and the frozen water thaws, it leaves cracks throughout the building. This starts a cycle that puts more and more pressure on buildings. The warmer temperatures actually leave space for water to invade a structure with the next rainfall. Another freeze and the process begins all over again. The end result is a weakening of the building. The more cycles we experience in CO, the more catastrophic the results. With the breakdown of structures, we also see leaking windows and additional water damage.

Preparing your home of office building for the freeze/thaw cycle. As warmer days approach, but cold nighttime temperatures persist, being aware of the possible damage that can result is extremely important. There are things you can do to help prevent severe damage.

  • The foundation. Start by examining your home’s foundation. Take the time to move any snow or ice from around your house, paying particular attention to window wells. Your effort may avoid leaks and flooding as the snow and ice melts.
  • Walls and windows. As you examine your home, pay particular attention to walls and windows. You may see cracks. If you do, take the time to seal and repair any cracks in your walls, in the foundation and around windows. Taking the time to seal the cracks will help prevent moisture from seeping into the building. A word of caution, if you do discover a leak, consider contacting a professional. We’ve seen water damage escalate quickly. Whatever you can do to stop leaks will go a long way in keeping your costs down.
  • Roof and gutters. Next, pay attention to your roof and gutters. You, or someone you hire, should clear out any ice and debris that has built-up around your eaves and downspouts. Because this system drains the water from you home, it’s important to keep the system unclogged. And while you’re at it, you might want to take a look in the street to see if there is a drain nearby. Be sure to clear this drain of leaves and other debris so that the water can flow freely.

Next month we’ll talk about spring rains, thaw and flooding. So stay tuned. In the meantime, remember that just a small amount of water can cause considerable damage to your home or commercial property. If you need help identifying damage or restoring your property, call Restoration 1 of West Denver today. We can assess the full extent of water damage, both unseen and visible, and walk you through the process of restoring your property.