Blizzards are intense snowstorms that can last over three hours and are accompanied by snowfall, freezing rain, powerful winds of 35 mph or more, and visibility of less than a quarter of a mile. These kinds of snowstorms can completely devastate houses and buildings, and often the full extent of property damage might go unnoticed for a considerable time.
Blizzards can cause insulated pipes to freeze. Your pipes may develop cracks or serious. The roof of the house can develop ice dams. Water might also seep through different structures. Excessive snow may collapse different structures. Melted snow can overflow gutters and downspouts and flood basements.
Most of these hazards occur because temperatures plummet during blizzards causing the snow to melt and refreeze. Excessive snow can weigh down different structures, causing them to collapse. Read below as we dive into how blizzards can damage your property and cause various safety hazards.
7 Ways Blizzards Can Damage Property
Blizzards can cause significant damage to your property. We’ve discussed some of the ways it can damage your house below.
Your roof might collapse under the weight of the snow, warranting costly repairs. Additionally, severe weather conditions can cause the water and debris in the pipes surrounding your roof to freeze and solidify, halting the flow and causing a backup. The drains may split. As a result, damaging your home’s roof.
Hidden Structural Damage
Blizzards frequently accumulate ice and snow on your roof, which may not be noticeable to the naked eye. These patches will thaw and then refreeze as the day’s temperature fluctuates. Your home’s internal structure is silently affected by surface water seeping into gaps in the siding, brickwork, and even the ceiling.
Downed Trees and Power Lines
Power lines can be brought down by tree branches that are snapped from the strong winds and snow blowing. Never try to clear the debris from around them. Contact a disaster restoration firm to have any compromised electrical components safely removed. Watch out for electricity wires in and around your yard if a blizzard has hit your neighborhood.
Check the functioning of your carbon monoxide detector. During a snowstorm, most houses lose power, forcing residents to burn fuel to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.
Ice flow and melting snow can flood yards and fill street gutters as the storm slowly goes away. Furthermore, the soil surrounding your home’s foundation might get saturated with rainwater, which can then seep into your basement through gaps. Flooding in the basement is typical for homes located in storm-prone areas.
Shingles and Flashing Destruction
A severe snowstorm with winds reaching between 30 and 50 miles per hour may completely shut down a city. Be careful of flying objects like lawn chairs and garbage cans since they can quickly become destructive forces with that sort of velocity.
Additionally, the same force may rip off loose roofs and peel back flashing. If you are unprepared, this force can also subject your property to water damage, which might include leaks in the attic or cracks in the underlay of the roof.
Insulated Pipe Damage
It doesn’t matter how sure you are of the plumbing in your home; severe weather can cause your pipes to freeze. Insulated pipes can expand and cause various issues, from minor leaks to total plumbing failure. And the water damage that results can be expensive and difficult to repair.
Technically, a power outage doesn’t harm your house, but an outage can still cause significant issues. Unheated homes create the ideal environment for frozen burst pipes. Basement flooding is a possibility if you don’t have a full backup for the sump pump. Both scenarios can cause significant water damage.
Staying Safe from Blizzard Damage
The good thing is that there are some things you can do to protect your home from getting damaged by blizzards. Some of these are discussed below.
Prevent Structural Damage
Trim any tree branches that may cause structural damage if they were to break under the weight of the snow as soon as you learn the news. Next, clear any debris from downspouts to allow room for snowmelt. Any patio and yard items that may become missiles when the wind increases speed should be put away or tied down.
Additionally, you should have flashlights nearby in case of power shortages and slightly open outdoor faucets (to prevent damage from frozen pipes).
Winterize Your Home
Winterize your home by insulating pipes, walls, basements, and attics a few months before the cold weather. Make sure your furnace is functioning as efficiently as possible. To stop drainage water from leaking through these gaps, it’s also essential to fix any damaged windows and seal wall cracks.
Keep Tools Handy
Purchase an ice melt and shovel. These two items will improve your life even if they might not solve the main problems brought on by a snowstorm. Early issue-solving is the secret of blizzard recovery. This entails clearing snow off the driveway and away from your home, as well as swiftly and frequently applying ice melt. These are rather easy steps that might ultimately save you a lot of repairs.
Consider Getting Help
After the storm has passed, inspect the snow on your rooftop and, if needed, hire a professional. Snow may be removed from outside water, power, and gas meters by disaster restoration specialists.
It’s advised that you remain inside your house in addition to taking these precautions. It is uncomfortable and could even be lethal to venture outside during a blizzard. Frostbite, hypothermia, or even death might result from being unprepared or unprotected when trapped in a severe blizzard. Staying inside your house is the greatest way to avoid these situations.
Blizzards are dangerous as they can prove to be disastrous to you and your property. It is important to be aware of the ways you can protect yourself and your home during a blizzard.