08 Mar Heavy Snow Fall Can Cause Serious Damage to Your Home. Learn What to Look For.
All the snow this winter means potential damage to your home. In February of 2019, we saw 31.5 inches of snowfall. This surpassed the previous February snowfall record of 25.6 inches back in 1962. With all this extra snow, ice dams and basement flooding are a huge danger this year. Read on for tips on preventative measures to protect from damage to your home.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the huge icicles hanging off nearly every home. While they may look pretty and add a delightful snow-globe-like appearance to our winter wonderland, you need to know the dangers they pose. Icicles can lead to ice dams. When the weather starts to warm, the snow on your roof will melt. Water will run down the roof and be trapped by the “dam” that the icicles have created at the edge of the roofline. This trapped water will refreeze and seep beneath the shingles. The continued thaw and freeze cycle will wreak havoc on the surface of your roof, but even worse, when the ice melts again the water can drip into your attic and begin running down the walls, too. Yikes! Make sure you are on the lookout for ice dams. Breaking the icicles off before ice dams form or getting a professional to steam ice dams off are common removal methods. Be careful, knocking down icicles can be dangerous and cause injury.
So, what is there to be done?
Many think a bit of salt will do the trick. But we recommend you Do NOT use rock salt (meant for sidewalks), table salt, or any type of salt (Sodium Chloride – NaCl)! Salt corrodes metal including your gutters and the nails holding your shingles in place. There are some variants, such as Magnesium-Chloride and Calcium-Chloride, that can be used in place of Salt. It should be noted that these chemicals still have corrosive properties and can damage the roof materials. Hiring a professional to steam off ice dams is recommended as a safe way to remove them while preventing further damage to the roof.
The other problem this winter’s increased snow volume will cause is basement floods. Because it was cold before the snow could fall, there was no layer of snow to insulate the ground which leads to dangerous soil frost levels. According to the government’s National Weather Service Administration, the ground frost levels in Minnesota are 36-48 inches deep. Because the frost is so deep when the snow melts the ground cannot absorb the water which can lead to basement flooding. To protect your basement, clear any snow around piled against your home and check your basement often. Pull furniture away from the walls and walk the perimeter of your basement barefoot to check for water. The best thing you can do is catch any basement flooding early.
Each year brings new trends and influences. Read some of my other posts to learn what 2019 is bringing:
If you have any questions, please let me know, I’m always happy to help. You can give me a call at 612-889-6496 or send an email to [email protected]