Winter weather can take quite a toll on your house if left unchecked. To prevent permanent, costly damage that could affect your home value or ability to sell, consider these tips for dealing with severe weather.
Make Sure Everyone is Safe
The first order of business is to ensure everyone’s safety. One of the most important things to check on is that your furnace and chimney exhaust lines are not blocked up with snow or ice. Clear away any debris from these vents as soon as possible to reduce the risk of fumes entering the home.
Report any downed power lines, fire hazards or other such emergencies immediately to the authorities. If your home heat has shut off, make sure that everyone is adequately bundled up and protected against the cold. Avoid using space heaters within three feet of flammable materials and keep them out of reach of young children.
Assess the Damage
Once everyone has been determined to be safe and the storm has passed, you should check for any damage to your home. Snow, ice and winds can damage roof shingles and cause eventual leaks, so look for signs of damage upon your roof.
Another common issue after winter storms is fallen branches. Remove any small or medium sized tree limbs unless they are directly on top of power lines. Larger branches may require professional equipment to cut them down to size and make them easier to drag away.
Any tree-sized objects that have fallen onto your roof may require an immediate evacuation of the home. The structural stability of the home may have been compromised by the impact, even if the damage merely looks superficial.
Clear Away Dangers
Remove fallen objects such as branches from your yard and begin shoveling snow off of driveways, walkways and stairs. Use an ample amount of rock salt to help keep traction and melt ice from slick surfaces.
As the snow melts, you may have to worry about flooding in your home or yard. A drainage system can be installed in areas where this a regular problem, allowing snow to melt directly into storm drains rather than in pools.
Finally, clear out your gutters of snow, leaves and ice to prevent ice dams from forming. These structures are heavy blocks of ice caused by the melting and refreezing of roof snow. They can damage gutters and shingles, as well as divert water towards your home where it will cause foundational issues.
While all of these problems may sound intimidating, they are merely a worst case scenario. Most Leduc Remax home owners will never have to face truly worrisome conditions even after the heaviest snowfall. However, precautions should always be taken to prevent injury to yourself or damage to your property, especially when you are trying to sell your home.
For more advice to help sell your home during the winter, take a look at our selling page.