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Six Areas To Check During And After A Large Snowstorm

Deep snow on deck with table

Large amounts of snow can immobilize a region. Airports close, highways are impassable, supply lines are disrupted and sometimes even emergency services are forced to a standstill. Buildings can also be affected by large amounts of snow. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for – plus what to do if your home or office building is affected by the snow and cold weather.

  1. Roofs. Too much snow or ice can severely weaken a roof. It’s generally accepted that roofs can withstand up to 20 pounds of snow per square foot. After that, it can become compromised. We strongly suggest you NOT get up on your roof during a snow storm, but you might be able to do some light shoveling on your deck. Just be careful where the shoveled snow ends up. Be sure not to block any doors or windows.
  2. Concrete walks, driveways and foundations. During the winter, the process of freezing and thawing can do damage to concrete. Water gets into the gaps caused by the freeze-thaw cycle causing cracks to widen and even shift the concrete.
  3. Door and window alignment. It’s not unusual for doors and windows to become a bit askew, causing them to not shut properly.
  4. Flooding from burst pipes. Water in the pipes expands as it freezes and thaws resulting in cracks in the pipes. You may experience small leaks or forceful water if pipes burst. Please read our article on some of the things you can do to protect the pipes around the house.
  5. Landscaping/Foundation. Once it does turn warmer, melting winter snow can flood basements and overload gutters. When this occurs, the soil around the building becomes saturated which can lead to more flooding inside and out.
  6. Window damage. Besides messing up the alignment of a window, heavy snow can actually crack a window. Examine your windows and be aware of even small cracks. These tiny cracks can quickly spread – especially in the cold temperatures of winter. You should also check the trim and glazing around the windows – which are also affected by the temperature.

What To Do If You Have Damage.

  1. Document any damage you have throughout the structure for your insurance company.
  2. If you see any water leaking, turn off your water supply.
  3. If you notice any cracks in the chimney, do not light a fire in the fireplace. Smoke can back up into your home.

We hope everyone in our area stays safe during this winter storm. If you do experience water damage or freezing pipes, please give Restoration 1 of West Denver a call at 720-605-2994.