How to Prepare for Winter Storms

It hasn’t been an easy winter in the Maryland area—snow and ice storms follow days of 60 degree weather and residents are left confused and cold. But if you’re wondering how to prepare for winter storms in the area, know that there are small steps you can take to protect your property and prevent snow or water damage in your home or building. And if you haven’t taken precautionary measures in time, know that Tri State Restorations is here to help you recover from the damage 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

Preparing for Winter Storms

With excess snow on your roof and colder than average temperatures outside your door, your property becomes at risk for pipe bursting, ice damming, flooding, and even fallen trees, not to mention the power outages that often accompany these issues. To help you avoid a disaster and prepare for winter storms in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC areas, we’ve compiled a list of the most common problems you’ll face and ways to prepare for them.

Pipe Bursting

If your pipes get too cold and freeze, which is especially common during winter storms, they become vulnerable to freezing—which can eventually mean a leak or even pipe bursting and flooding. To prevent this:

  • Set your thermometer to at least 55 degrees even if you leave your home.
  • If temperatures fall below freezing, run warm water from your faucets.
  • Insulate your pipes, especially those in attics or basements.

Ice Damming

Ice damming is another common problem that occurs during winter storms in Maryland. When the temperature on your roof is over 32 degrees, often because of warm air escaping from the attic, it causes snow to melt over living spaces within your home. The melted water then runs down the slope of your roof, freezing into an ice dam when it comes into contact with colder air at the eaves. Any snow that melts later will thus be blocked and likely leak into your walls and ceilings. Stay prepared with these tips:

  • It’s a little late in the season but for the future, you’ll want to insulate your walls, especially in the attic.
  • This is also best done early on, but you’ll want to seal up any gaps in the roof to prevent leaking.
  • Make sure your gutters, as well as the edges of your roof, are clear of ice and debris—but this can be quite dangerous, so we recommend you contact a professional for the job.

Wind, Snow & Ice Damage

When a winter storm strikes, especially if it’s classified as a blizzard, it can lead to extremely windy conditions in combination with heavy snow and thick ice. The combination of wood and extra strain caused by snow or ice can often cause trees to fall into your home or even cause your roof to collapse, leaving your property exposed. While there’s not much you can do in many cases, we do recommend trimming any tree branches that are near your house or power lines as a precautionary measure. You’ll also want to have any existing snow or ice removed from your roof right away to prevent further buildup and eliminate the extra strain on your building.

Winter Storm Damage in Maryland, Virginia & Washington, DC

In some cases, winter storm damage is inevitable. No matter how hard you try, how well isolated your home is, or how high you keep your heat up, trees can still fall and cause destruction. And sometimes, a storm strikes without warning and you’re left scrambling to get home safe, never mind having the time to take the precautionary steps we’ve listed above.

If you experience winter storm damage in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, know that you can always count on the experts at Tri State Restorations to help you recover your space. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience and can be on site within 90 minutes to mitigate the damage. Contact us today!