The cold temperatures, snow and ice accumulation, and strong winds that accompany winter in Northeastern Pennsylvania can have a serious impact on our homes and properties. In addition to wear and tear, your property may suffer sudden damage such as missing or damaged shingles or siding, leaks or water intrusion, and pipe breaks. But not all damage is immediately apparent, some things you may not notice until the end of winter when temperatures start to climb and things start to thaw.
Other issues may be caused by the sudden change in temperature or unique conditions that increase the short-term potential for property damage.
This makes the end of winter an important time to inspect and monitor your property for signs of damage so that you can address them proactively to reduce the potential for serious issues. Here are some of the most common issues we see in Northeastern Pennsylvania that you can be on the lookout for:
Roof & Siding Damage
Roofing and siding damage is particularly common through the winter, but may not always be visible until the snow begins to melt. Common things to look for include lifting, damaged, or missing shingles, leaks or wet spots in your attic or living spaces, and broken or missing siding.
It’s important to address these issues as soon as you discover them, because damage will continue to worsen over time if not resolved. For example, even a small roof leak can lead to an extensive mold or rot issue if not addressed immediately.
Tip: Thoroughly inspect your home inside and out, looking for signs of damage. Be sure to check any attic spaces as well. If you discover any damage, have it addressed immediately.
Flooding / Groundwater Intrusion
Did you know that the end of winter is one of the most common times we see flooding or groundwater intrusion issues in our area? That’s because the temperature change can result in rapid melting of ice or snow that exceeds the ability of land or drainage systems to divert properly. As a result, this sudden overabundance of water can have nowhere else to go and end up coming into your home instead.
Whether the result of a sudden event or a long term moisture intrusion issue, water damage from flooding and groundwater intrusion can be significant, particularly if not addressed right away. This is because water damage has the tendency to spread, wicking into dry materials over time until everything is wet. As a result, while flooding and groundwater intrusion generally effects lower levels initially, this moisture can spread to other levels if not addressed properly. We’ve actually seen cases where properties with basement water damage were wet all the way to the roof line on the second floor.
Tip: It’s important to be diligent whenever you suspect water intrusion has occurred, particularly in cases where a finished space is affected. Thoroughly inspect the walls and flooring for any sign of water damage including staining, weakness, rot, or mold growth. If you see any signs of issues, it’s important to hire a professional to ensure everything is dried properly and any underlying moisture problem is resolved. Water Mitigation Professionals have specialty moisture monitoring equipment able to test the moisture content of materials and track the drying process.
You’ll notice that leaks and water issues are a recurring theme in this month’s story and that’s because they’re so common this time of year. During times of freezing temperatures, your property could have experienced a frozen pipe, an ice dam could have pushed water up under your roof shingles, or snow and ice could have caused damage to siding or cladding around doors or windows allowing rain or snow melt in. In addition, while you may think that these are things you would notice right away, that is not always the case. Leaks can occur inside wall cavities, above ceilings, or in attics where you may not notice them for days, weeks, or months.
Tip: Inspect your home thoroughly for any signs of water leaks, especially in areas where water supply lines or plumbing are run, around doors and windows, exterior walls, and attic spaces. Signs of moisture issues or water damage in these living spaces indicate potentially serious issues above. It’s important whenever dealing with water damage to keep in mind that you need to address both the water damage itself as well as the underlying cause to ensure that you don’t have additional problems in the future.
Hopefully you didn’t experience any property damage as a result of the winter weather this year, but we hope this was helpful in learning a few things to watch for. Much of the additional damage caused by leaks and moisture issues can be prevented if addressed quickly enough.
About Disaster Blaster
Disaster Blaster is an indoor environmental firm serving the Northeastern PA Area. We have been providing our local area with unparalleled mold remediation, water mitigation, basement waterproofing, asbestos abatement, radon mitigation, and fire / smoke restoration services for decades, and are proud to have been named The World’s Greatest Indoor Environmental Firm. For more about Disaster Blaster, as well as more helpful tips, please visit our website at: www.disasterblaster.com or call our office at (570) 963-1123.