What to do after a winter storm

Whether you got a few inches of snow or a few feet, there are always potential issues that can accompany any winter storm event, especially when freezing rain or ice are involved.  From simple maintenance like shoveling the snow and clearing sidewalks to more serious issues like ice dams and roof leaks, these issues only get worse the longer you wait making it important to address these issues right away.

Here are some tips for digging out quickly, cleaning up effectively, and ensuring that any potential damage is addressed properly!

Clear snow right away

Fresh snow is lighter than snow that’s had time to compact and freeze, particularly when ice or freezing rain is involved, so it’s always a good idea to get started right away to clear sidewalks and driveways.  For heavy or prolonged snow storms, it may make sense to shovel periodically throughout the storm to avoid having to deal with 3 or 4 feet after the storm has passed.

Salt Walkways and Driveways

One of the most common things that homeowners forget to do is salt the walkways and driveways after they’ve shoveled.  This may seem unnecessary, but due to the exposure to the cold air snow and snowmelt freezes very quickly in these shoveled areas.  Not only can this present a serious slip and fall hazard, but it can even make it harder to shovel after the next storm!  We always recommend salting walkways and driveways as soon as you’ve cleared them.

Check the outside of your home for damage

Winter storms can cause a variety of property damage issues including ice dams, damage to roofing and siding, roof or window leaks, and more.  So it’s important to routinely check your property inside and out for any signs of potential issues.  As property damage can worsen quickly if not addressed right away, this could save you a significant additional expense and potential headache.  During your inspection, we recommend taking a walk around your home and look for any signs of damage to your home that you may be able to see from the ground.  Be thorough, and remember that damage can happen anywhere, so don’t forget to check your roof, siding, windows, doors, decks & porches, sunrooms, etc.  And keep safety in mind during your inspection as well – Some things, like climbing on the roof, are best left to the experts.

Look for damage to trees

Could any nearby trees have been damaged from the weight of ice or snow?  Could they be at risk of falling or potentially losing branches that could cause damage to your home?  Trees are much less resilient during winter, making them potentially dangerous in the right circumstances.  Any signs of trees that may need to be cut back or cut down should be addressed as quickly as possible by a professional to prevent potential damage to your home and property.

Check out the inside of your home for damage

Did you know that winter is the most common time of year to experience water damage inside your home?  Not only do the cold temperatures make things like frozen pipes and pipe breaks extremely common, but roof leaks and ice dams occur throughout the winter as well!  While you should always be observant of changes inside your home, it’s always a good idea to do a walkthrough after any large storm event, taking care to check areas that you may not often go into, such as attics, spare bedrooms, and basements.  Pay careful attention for any signs of water intrusion or water damage, staining, drips or leaks, mold growth or discoloration, drafts, or structural changes.  Any issues that you do notice should be addressed immediately by trained professionals to avoid further additional damage that may occur.  

Stay safe

Snow storms can introduce new hazards that you should always be alert for, particularly right after a storm.  Snow and ice can create slip and fall hazards, frigid temperatures could represent an exposure risk, the wight of ice and snow could down tree branches or power lines, you could be injured by falling icicles…  It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and limit exposure as much as possible – particularly when temperatures drop significantly.  

We hope that everyone has a wonderful winter season full of sled rides and hot cocoa.  As always, if you do experience any property damage as a result of a recent winter storm, or any other reason, we’re always here to help.

Stay warm and stay safe!

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 damage mitigation, basement waterproofing, 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.