Dealing with Winter Weather Damage

While the best way to deal with damage resulting from winter weather conditions is to protect and prepare a home beforehand, that may not be possible. If it is too late to get ready and a home is damaged in some way, homeowners will likely want and need to take steps to remedy the situation. Whether approaching the situation as a resident planning to live there or a homeowner planning to sell a property, it will need to be in good condition.

Home damage and trees

Homeowners’ insurance policies generally cover damage due to common winter hazards such as ice dams, burst pipes and the weight of snow or ice, according to the Insurance Information Institute. While they will need to pay their deductible, this means homeowners may not find themselves struggling as hard with the expense of potentially serious home repairs, so such coverage can be important, especially in areas with harsher winters.

The weight of snow and ice can affect a home directly, but more commonly will put too much pressure on the branch of a nearby tree, causing it to break. High winds can also break trees, so snowstorms, ice and strong windy weather can be cause for caution. If a great deal of snow is on a tree or its branches are noticeably straining, one expert told MSN Real Estate the homeowner can use a broom or rake to remove some of the snow, easing the burden and reducing the chance of breakage.

Any more involved preparations should be done more carefully, he noted, since broken branches are as hazardous to people as homes.

Water and ice

Frozen pipes are a common problem. Another expert indicated that if pipes do freeze, it may be possible to thaw them with a space heater, while one source suggested a hair dryer might work. In either case, the water should be turned on at a trickle and heat then applied to the pipe, focusing on the faucet and the frozen section. If the freezing is relatively minor, this may solve the problem.  More serious difficulties are likely to require a professional plumber, however.

If a home suffers water damage due to ice dams or burst pipes, physical damage from a falling branch or other serious problems, professional assistance is likely to be an unavoidable necessity. Homeowners are likely to find such efforts time-consuming and possibly expensive, so preventive measures to protect a home are strongly advised by many experts.



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