Seven Ways You Can Protect Your Home After The Snowstorm
You thought you were safe and the storm had passed, but all of a sudden, as the weather warms up the snow starts melting! There are so many ways that melting snow can damage your Pennsylvania home. Many of the actions you took before and during the storm will prevent these, but here are seven ways you can protect your home after the snowstorm.
1. The Obvious One: Shovel Your Driveway
This may seem extremely obvious, but its importance is greater than you know. Shoveling your driveway will ensure a clear route for water and slush to travel away from your home while also preventing ice from damaging your driveway.
The best course of action is to shovel your driveway immediately. When the sun comes out it will dry your driveway and keep ice from forming. The reason our Pennsylvania roads are so terrible is that ice is continually freezing and melting. That freezing and melting will cause the water to expand repeatedly. If there is water in the cracks of your driveway it can break apart your driveway faster. If you shovel your driveway later in the day and it remains wet, be sure to salt your driveway even if it is clear of snow. This will prevent moisture from freezing within the cracks during the lower temperatures at night.
2. Shovel Snow Away From Your House
Shoveling snow away from your home may seem excessive and a bit tedious but it is extremely important if you have an older Pennsylvania home. An older home in Pennsylvania can be built from the 1700s to the early 1900s. To maintain those homes and keep them safe in our winters, extra attention is needed at the foundation. If the foundation of your home crumbles, it doesn’t matter if your roof is still intact.
If snow builds up around your home and melts and freezes repeatedly, it can get into any exposed nooks and crannies of your foundation. Just like your driveway, over time repeated expansion of ice will damage the foundation of your home. Clearing away snowdrifts in deep snow from around your home will help it last longer.
3. Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clear Of Water Dams
Did you read our article about how to prepare before a snowstorm in Pennsylvania? If you had, you would’ve cleared away the leaves in your gutter. But now is your chance to keep your clogged gutters from damage in your home. Check the gutters to see if there are any ice dam build-ups. If there are, try to remove them to lessen the weight on your gutters. Be careful while doing this. As you try to remove it you can shock the gutter and strip the screws from the face board.
4. Clear Storm Drains After Snowstorms
You may have cleared away the leaves from your yard and the street before the snowstorm, but now can build up around storm drains and freeze the drainage. Shoveling a clear path to the storm drain will help water to leave your property and prevent flooding or icy build-ups. If ice does build up before you are able to clear the storm drain, try to chip away a path to the storm drain. This will help drainage and will expose the ground underneath the ice. If the ground is exposed it can absorb sunlight and warm the ice and snow from beneath.
5. Shovel Snow Off Roof
If the snow is extremely deep and weighs a lot, you should consider clearing snow off the roof of your home. This can prevent water from getting through an old roof or a roof collapsing. The weight from the snow can lead trusses to collapse.
Warning: If you shovel snow off of your roof be extremely careful. This is something you should probably have a professional do. Make sure you are securely connected to the roof so if you slip and fall you do not slide off the roof.
6. Remove Icicles
If icicles form on the gutter, this means your gutter is clogged. Carefully remove the icicles to lessen the weight and pressure placed on the gutter. If the icicles remain on the gutter they will continue to grow and increase in weight as the snow from the roof melts and freezes. Unless you shoveled the snow off the roof of course. Be sure to check if icicles start to reform on side of your home. Continuing to remove them can save your home and gutter from damage.
7. Check For Any Damage Your Home Sustained
As you work outside of your snow-covered home, be on the lookout for any damages. Check that no tree branches fell and punctured your roof. Look at your roof and make sure it’s not sagging under the weight of the snow. Make sure no siding blew off from the wind. The earlier you can find snow damage the better.
If your home sustains damage from the snow, contact your insurance agent immediately to file a home insurance claim. If your insurance agent isn’t available, consider contacting Strickler Insurance for a free home insurance quote. Even if our office is not available we have an online form so you can file a claim immediately.
Weathering The Storm & Preparing For Next Year
Congratulations! You have survived this year’s storm and successfully protected your Pennsylvania home. Be sure to prepare for next year’s snowstorms during the summer and fall months so you can relax comfortably in your warm home. If you are in Pennsylvania and looking for insurance we are located in Lebanon Pennsylvania and have been providing our local community with home insurance since the 1800s. Contact us today for a free insurance quote.