Every year, winter storms are expected to happen. However, blizzards are the most serious of the winter storms. They are characterized by freezing rain, heavy snow, and strong winds. The visibility during blizzards is also very poor and can last up to 3 hours.
These snow storms can be catastrophic to the house physically. The damage caused by them can take long periods to repair. Cracking of insulated pipes is common with storms when it plunges through huge temperature changes.
Melting and freezing of snow on the roofs can cause water leaks into the ceiling, siding, and brickwork. The melting water can also flood the basements.
Damage to Roofs and Gutters
Snowstorms cause snow to collect on roofs up to some noticeable inches high. This applies weight to the roof and may collapse if it cannot hold the snow. There will be severe damage to the structure leading to expensive repairs.
Gutters can also be destroyed by high winds and blizzards. Water freezing in gutters destroys them leading to breakages in the drainage system.
Flooding and Water Damage
Water damage and flooding are also common with blizzards. Water in pipes freeze during blizzards and cause flooding when they melt rapidly. The accumulated snow on roofs will eventually melt during warm weather causing flooding. Rapid thawing of snow and ice also causes flooding.
Water damage can be experienced after the snowstorms. This is because the ice freezing on drains prevents proper drainage of water. With time, water damages occur if the drains are not repaired immediately.
Melting ice water also seeps into the ceiling and roofs causing severe water damage.
The Process of Blizzard Damage Restoration
There are good tips to follow after a blizzard has passed. They will help protect your home and make sure it is structurally strong.
- Watching out for Damaged Power Lines
If you are experiencing a power outage in your area after a snowstorm, check on the power lines. Downed power lines show they have been destroyed by the storm. Call the local power company to come and do the repairs immediately. Also, inspect your carbon monoxide detector if it is working properly.
- Documenting the Damages
After making sure you are safe in the house, you may start the insurance process. Document the significant damages the insurance company can take care of. Look out for any leaks on the pipes, walls, and ceilings. If there are, turn off the main water supply to reduce the damages. If there is little water coming out of your taps, there is a high possibility that the pipes have burst. Contact a plumber immediately to control the situation.
- Checking for Structural Damage
Assess the chimney and roof for any significant damage. A structural contractor will help restore the structural integrity of the roof. Structural damage on roofs makes them weak and increases the chances of them collapsing.
Also, putting up a fire in a destroyed chimney is a huge risk. The smoke may come back to fill up your house.
The structural experts will do their inspection and inform you if it is safe to stay in the house. They will also provide recommendations on the repairing materials. Share the report with your insurance company for a better restoration process.
How to Prevent Damage Caused by Blizzards
If you reside in areas that experience frequent blizzards, you have to take the necessary measures. They will help you avoid the winter storms damaging your home. Here are a few of the tips to follow before a blizzard storm;
- Installing resistant glass to reduce wind damages
- Make sure the roof is properly fastened and damaged shingles replaced
- Doorways should be kept clear of snow for an easier access
- Regular checking of foundations for flooding and leaks
- Have enough emergency supplies like water, blanket, and food
- All windows and doors should be closed to keep the heat in case of a power outage
- Salting the roofs and gutters will help prevent ice and snow buildup
- The gutters should be debris-free to avoid snow buildup
- Furnaces and outside vents should be cleared of any snow
Insurance Companies and Blizzard Damage
The damages by winter storms can be covered by most home insurance companies. The policies involve protection against damage by winds, ice, and snow.
Some of the insurance companies may require you to have a flooding policy to cover for damages caused by melting ice. You should therefore have a confirmation of what your insurance company covers.
Roof damage repair can be quite an expensive process. It is, however, covered by your insurance company.
The costs depend on the roof type and the extent of the damage. Asphalt, shingles, wood shakes, and composite roofs are mostly less costly to repair. Metal and slate roofs are expensive to repair.
Always Work with Experts
Getting an expert to help deal with blizzard damage is the best route you can take. You have to, however, make sure you are safe by conducting the recommended measures. Try to practice the safety tips before a snowstorm to reduce the risk of damage.