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Flooding & Water Damage Risks in Your Home During Winter

The winter months are marked with cold and wet weather in Utah, and depending on the season, might include everything from ice, snow, rain, and wind. As these things build up on top of and around your home, they could put your dwelling at risk for flooding in the winter months or in the spring when the weather warms up again. Fortunately there are some steps you can take to recognize potential risk, prevent flooding when possible, or know how to get help if you do experience flooding.

Ice Dams and Snow on the Roof

Warm air can cause the snow at the top of the roof to melt, then it freezes again when it reaches the outer edge. The ice dam that forms can cause problems for the roof, but can also prevent water from getting into the gutters to be directed away from the house. In these cases your home might be at risk of flooding as water melts and pools around the edges of the foundation. Keep gutters clean, add insulation to the attic, and talk to a professional about removing snow if necessary to prevent ice dams.

Frozen Pipes

Pipes that are in cold areas of the house, or exposed to exceptionally cold weather, are at risk of freezing. Cold water that freezes inside pipes—most often in places like basements, attics, or crawl spaces—can lead to pressure buildup that eventually causes the pipes to burst. Insulate pipes in potential freeze areas, seal holes that might let in colder air, and leave the water on at a trickle on particularly cold days or nights to keep static water from freezing.

Basement Flooding

Snowmelt, rain, or other weather concerns could pool around the edges of the house and lead to basement flooding. Properly landscaped homes should have yards that slope away from the house, but flat or down-sloped yards could cause you a particular risk in bad winter weather.

If your basement or home does flood in winter, don’t panic, just call a restoration contractor immediately to help clean up. These companies will have the proper equipment to remove flooded water, prevent mold from growing (in areas where water is left for an extended period of time), and repair damage done to everything from floors to furniture. They can also offer recommendations to protect against future water damage in your home.