Snow can be a wonderful and amazing thing for people of all ages, but most don’t know just how much it can damage your home, costing you thousands of dollars and a significant amount of stress! Snow can impact your home’s safety in many ways, so we’ll cover just a few in this brief article.
As snow falls, it accumulates on any surface that is or becomes cold enough to keep it from melting immediately, such as a roof or street. When snow accumulates on a roof, the heat from within the building typically melts the bottom portion, while cold from the outdoors and the snow above causes it to re-freeze. The water beneath seeps into the cracks and crevices of the roof filling them with water, which expands when it freezes again, spreading the materials the roof is made from and creating gaps in the seal of the roof that keeps the building dry. When those gaps become large enough, the roof will begin to leak, causing large amounts of water damage within the buildings structural interior which will require extensive repairs. If the damage is not addressed immediately, it can spread, causing a lot of damage to the structural integrity of the building.
Even if the snow doesn’t melt and re-freeze, if enough accumulates on the roof, it can cause damage to your roof by the immense amount it weighs when the snow deepens. The weight of the snow can cause the roof to sag, or even to collapse if enough snow piles up without being removed, which could result in your home flooding!
Although the roof is a significant concern, you should also make sure that the rest of your home is safe and secure from winter snow. Make certain to clear any large accumulation away from your foundation, and anywhere it might be against the structure of your home. Again, as the warmth escapes your home, the snow will melt which allows water to fill any permeable material and expand as temperatures drop and it freezes again.
Another way that snow can damage your home is when it melts quickly, causing flooding either in your home, or around it. The ground can become over-saturated, leaking through into your basement or crawl space. Snow melt can cause rivers, creeks and lakes to over-flow their boundaries, sending large amounts of water into your home. Excess moisture in your home can be indiscernible to the naked eye, but can lead to mold and other bacterial growth if not addressed quickly.