Tips on How You Can Fix Winter Storm Damage to Your Home

Tips on How You Can Fix Winter Storm Damage to Your Home

Suffering through a winter storm is not just about closing the shutters while having shovels and buckets on hand. It’s also about fixing potential winter or blizzard damage to your home and possibly preventing it from happening at all.

Here are some cost-saving tips you can bank on when winter’s wrath leaves you damaged.

1. Look for Nearby Trees

Trees are a leading cause of incidental home damage during a storm. Limbs are torn by gusting winds and driven onto roofs and into siding. Inspect surrounding or neighboring trees in the fall. Be careful, though. Limbing or felling trees can be dangerous. Significant tree service is best left to a professional.

2. Examine Your Roof

Roofs are the most vulnerable part of a home during a harsh winter storm. Roof areas account for half of most homes exposed areas and they can also be one of the most expensive components to repair. Examining and making immediate repairs to your roof right after a storm can save thousands of dollars in collateral damage from leaks and ingression water. Be cautious about going up on your roof after a storm. Standing back with a good pair of binoculars lets you closely inspect for damage then decide if you need a roofer.

3. Check Your Ventilation

Ventilation openings in your home are easily damaged in a winter storm. Fireplace and chimney flues should be checked for blockage before finding out after lighting a fire. HVAC intakes and exhausts are easily clogged by blown leaves or icy buildup. Have a friend or family member watch each opening while you operate the furnace, fireplace or HVAC device. Any blockage will quickly be found at either end when air movement backs up. This easily prevents dangerous backflow of contaminants and lets you get right on top of removing obstructions.

4. Beware of “Storm-Chasers”

After every winter storm, there’s always people who go door-to-door and offer unsolicited repairs for attractive prices. Some of these may be shady characters after a quick buck who will leave you with shoddy work or shocking extras. Protect yourself by making sure they’re licensed, insured with workers compensation and general liability, and always get quotes and conditions in writing.

5. Take Winter Water Damage Seriously

Wind and water go hand in hand and one can do as much damage as the other. The big difference is that wind usually stays outside while water flows in and can often do far more serious damage. Deal with water damage immediately. Stop the source, protect valuables including people and pets, then begin drainage and drying. Make sure you contact your insurance company immediately and always consider hiring a water damage restoration company.

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There are 15 comments. Add yours.

  1. Chris Winters

    I had no idea that ventilation openings could be seriously affected by winter storm damage. We’ve recently had a few blizzards, so I’m worried that it may have potentially damaged our home. I think that I should speak with a professional about an inspection to make sure that there wasn’t any lasting damage.

  2. Drew

    Good advice for fixing winter storm damage. A good first step is definitely to inspect your roof. Great tips.

  3. Ben

    We don’t get snow often here in Seattle, but we can get some high winds that leave roof areas exposed. Also, when the snow melts quickly, we find ourselves in an overly damp situation! Thanks for a good reminder what to look for around heavy weather, especially the water damage part.

  4. What you recommend about examining the roof after a storm, particularly for leaks, is really important to me. I’ve been having some problems with my roof and I think it’s leaking into the attic. The problems seemed to start after one of the large storms recently so I’ll have to have a roofer come out to check and fix any problems the roof has in preparation for the next storm.

  5. Kylie Dotts

    I like how you recommend dealing with water damage immediately. While it may not seem that big of a deal at first I think water leaking in your home could create serious mold growths and become a health hazard. It would be a good idea to locate where the leak is in your home and then contact a professional so they can come in and make any repairs necessary to fix the problem.

  6. Luke Martin

    When it’s winter damage on your roof then the first step you need to take is pictures of the roof from different angles and you can also take a video of the whole area as this will help you showcase the damage to your insurer if it’s a big one. For small repairs or fixes you can follow a DIY approach but make sure you have all safety equipments with you. Otherwise calling a professional is essential and worry free task. Definitely inspecting roof after regular intervals and making repairs on time save your hard earned money.

  7. justin

    Luckily here in the south we dont have to worry too much about winter storms but I think we all learned a lesson with the hurricane last october!

  8. Chris Winters

    I can definitely see why you would need to stop winter water damage from the source. Our basement recently flooded after a water pipe burst. I definitely think that we should find a restoration service that could make the necessary repairs before anything valuable gets permanent damage.

  9. Good advice to be wary of door to door repair men after a storm. They can be quite convincing.

  10. Hazel Owens

    Our home has had many leaking issues over the last few years. I had never thought to check the ventilation. I liked how this website talks about that. I also think that having an inspection done every couple of years may also help our case. Thanks for all of this advice and information.

  11. Thanks for the advice about checking the flue for blockages before lighting a fire. During a blizzard, our power went out and we went to light a fire. The smoke really damaged the interior of the house, so next time we’ll remember to check the flue. For now, I think we’ll have to call a home disaster restoration service to have the smoke damage fixed.

  12. Deb Pearl

    We get a lot of storms where we live. Thank you for the tips on fixing winter storm damage! I didn’t know that roofs are the most vulnerable part of a home during a winter storm. My husband and I will have to try and check our roof often so we don’t get leaks from water!

  13. It’s good to know how to fix storm damage. I like how you said to avoid storm chasers because they aren’t reputable companies. We’ve had some water leaking into our basement, so I’ll hire a good, reputable company to help with that!

  14. Gerty Gift

    My friend has been wondering if there is anything wrong with her roof after a particularly nasty storm. I recommended that she ask someone to come take a look and she’s been hesitant. I like what you said about having immediate repairs can save you thousands of dollars. I’ll bring this up with her so that she doesn’t feel like she has to worry about anything longer than necessary.

  15. John Neil

    Nice to know what to expect. I actually removed a couple tree from my front and backyard since it was pretty close to the house and having broken limbs falling on top wasn’t good also.

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