When dealing with a blizzard, you can always expect three things: snow, ice, and strong winds. Individually, these are a problem on their own, but when they are combined together the result can be catastrophic.
The Weight of Snow
Snow itself doesn’t seem all that heavy. But when a large amount accumulates on rooftops, it can become very heavy and cause the roof to collapse inwards. Now with a hole in your roof, the melted snow and slush fall inside your home, which then begins the cycle of water damage.
Your personal items and irreplaceable things can be destroyed and hard to save. Additionally, a weighted down tree branch, or even the entire tree, can break and fall onto or into your home causing potentially severe structural damage on top of any damage causes from moisture entering your home.
Before the Storm
Before a blizzard hits, salting your roof and gutters may be a good idea. Taking the proper precautions can mean the difference between a simple snow storm and severe structural damage.
The snow and ice can cause a backup in your gutters and produce an ice dam, where snow melts and then refreezes, which can then also cause serious water damage. The same goes for frozen pipes that burst.
With the water damage internal, you may not even know the flooding has started.
High winds can also prove to be a serious problem during blizzards. Objects can become airborne and slam into the side of your house, or even break glass, therefore giving snow and ice the opportunity to enter your home and produce water damage.
Now that you know what to expect from the blizzards, here are some steps that you can take in order to lessen the effect of the storm:
- Make sure that your roof is up to code and that the shingles on your roof have been properly installed
- Think about installing resistant glass to limit wind damage
- Regularly have your foundation checked for leaks or cracks
- Use a roof rake to keep gutters clear of ice dams which can cause significant leaks
- Clear snow off of outside vents and furnaces that exhaust from combustion of oil or gas
- Keep doorways clear of snow in order to have easy access to your home
- If the blizzard causes a power outage, keep the heat inside by making sure all windows and doors are closed. In addition, keep the fireplace flues closed and limit opening the refrigerator and freezer to prevent food from spoiling.
- Always have an ample amount of emergency supplies such as extra food, water, and blankets.
Even if you feel you are prepared for an upcoming blizzard, they certainly can be very unpredictable. The best course of action to take is to make sure you and your family are safe and have whatever supplies you may need to ride out the storm. When you determine there is water damage, the sooner the situation is assessed and handled, the sooner your life can get back to normal.
Watcher Insurance Agency (2016). How Do Blizzards Cause Home Damage? Retrieved from:
CBS Money Watch (2016). It’s Blizzard Season, Is Your Home Ready? Retrieved from: