Welcome to winter in Missoula. No longer are we in the awkward in-between where we all question if we should wear sandals or a coat. It’s truly cold now. Whether you’re wiping frozen tears off your face, still trying to come to grips with sub-50 weather or if you’re shouting for joy with hot cocoa in your hand, it’s time to complete our annual checkup on the condition of our homes. Winter water damage isn’t fun in any world, especially in freezing cold Missoula. Trust us, we’ve lived many winter water damage emergencies. In order to prevent some good old-fashioned winter water damage headaches, take a look at these tips for damage-proofing your home this winter.
Some of you don’t need telling twice. Cold internal temperatures lend itself to freezing feet and frozen pipes. When heading out for holiday vacations, don’t turn the heat off. We know it’s tempting to save a few dollars on the utility bill, but turning the heat off backfires in a winter storm. Try not to let the temperature drop below about 60 degrees.
Do you have that one bathroom kitchenette that rarely gets used? Maybe it was a rash decision in the building process, or people simply don’t like using it. Instead of letting it stay back of mind in the winter, turn on the faucet to let a small drip through. Stationary water during the winter months is a recipe for a frozen pipe fiasco. When water is continually moving through the pipes, it doesn’t have time to freeze, saving you a cold and unpleasant experience in ankle-deep water.
Out of sight, out of mind. Right? Unfortunately, with rain gutters, this philosophy simply doesn’t work. During the fall season, leaves and dirt can clog rain gutters, trapping water in gutter cracks. The result is a sloppy and soggy water mess when rain gutters leak. Even worse, when water can’t drain properly, it begins to freeze up into the roof, causing ice dams that create internal water damage and restoration costs. Sure, cleaning out a rain gutter sounds like the dead last thing on your list, and we would be surprised if you were actually excited about it. However, spending a few hours on a Saturday morning cleaning out your gutters may prevent leaking from rain gutters and from water damage that can revert back into your home and cause some major restoration costs.
The number one cause of water damage and restoration costs is frozen pipes. Take a few minutes every winter to check for leaks and cracks in pipes. When you’re sure that your pipes are in good condition, it’s worth checking the caulking and insulation around pipes. Hiring a professional can be a great route to go on this one, because most pipes are internal. Professionals have the tools and expertise needed to assess the likelihood of a pipe burst due to frozen pipes.
As we head full swing into the bone-chilling winter months, know that Five Valleys Restoration is ready and willing to help out in any water damage emergency. With 24/7 service and a high quality team of professionals, we’re ready to help with all of your water damage restoration needs in Missoula—frozen pipes, frozen gutters, and all.