Prevent water damage to your house and property from melting ice and snow, and get your home ready for spring and summer enjoyment by following this simple checklist.
Roof: As the snow and ice melts in early spring, check your roof for pooling water that could leak through into the attic or ceilings. Inspect your roof to locate any loose or missing shingles. If you find any, check the corresponding areas inside your home for possible ceiling water damage. Examine exterior roof vents and clear away any moss or other organic materials that could cause clogging. Use a moss killer for prolonged protection, if necessary.
Gutters: It’s just as important to clean your gutters before winter as it is in spring. As the weather warms up, check for leftover snow and ice, and if necessary use melting tablets or salt to break down any slow-to-melt solid chunks. Remove foliage and debris from the gutter drainage path, and ensure downspouts are positioned so water flows easily away from your house. Check carefully to make sure the water drains properly through the gutter system and doesn't pool around the foundation of your home.
Windows: Inspect all the window glass in your home for cracks and inspect screens for holes or tears. Look for damaged seals and peeling along window trim, and repair or replace any broken parts. If you have basement window wells, check or replace the water guard to protect against basement flooding. Rain water and dripping snowmelt can easily seep through tiny openings and damage surrounding walls and interior areas. Undetected and untreated water damage can lead to harmful mold, so it's best to correct poor sealing in the first place with a simple window check.
Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC): Change the air filters and check the cleanliness and functionality of the ducts and vents throughout your home’s entire HVAC system. Air ducts can be difficult to check, so you may want to hire professionals to inspect and clean them. To avoid blockages and clogging, clear debris and accumulated dust away from indoor and outdoor HVAC equipment, including vents and rooftop AC units.
Pipes: Unwrap any pipes you wrapped to keep warm during winter. Carefully check all exposed piping for cracks or damage. Look for evidence of dripping water in adjacent areas. Turn on outdoor faucets and check for leaks along the length of the pipes.
Foundation: Before the warm weather arrives, shovel any lingering snow at least 3-5 feet away from the base of your home. Then, examine the foundation and keep an eye out for cracks or pools of water from snowmelt. If you find any cracks, caulk them immediately to prevent water from seeping into your foundation or causing a wet basement. Redirect any standing water away from the base of your home.
If you find evidence of water damage in or around your house or property after winter, take photographs of the damage and call your insurance agent immediately to start the claims process. Water damage requires quick remediation to prevent expensive repairs and harmful mold growth. After speaking with your insurance agent, call the water and mold experts at ServiceMaster Restore for a full water damage restoration plan that will keep your home safe from water damage for many seasons to come.