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As a homeowner, it seems that when the snow starts to come down day after day, it is not as magical as we once remembered when we were kids. Being a homeowner and lots of snow no longer means “snow days” with days off of work or school, but it means lots of shoveling and snow removal to keep your home and walkway safe. Snow and ice can cause damage to a home both immediately and in the long term if proper precautions are not taken. Knowing these precautions to take will help you to be able to prevent damage and keep your family and home safe. 

Here are some of the ways that snow can cause damage to your home:

Roof Collapse

One of the most obvious ways that snow can cause damage is the weight of heavy snow accumulation can put excessive stress on the roof, potentially leading to a roof collapse. This can result in significant structural damage and pose a safety hazard. If you get lots of snow all at once, try your best to remove as much snow from the roof as safely as you can, especially if the weather does not appear to be warming up soon, or if you have a flat spots on your roof.

Ice Dams

When snow on the roof melts and refreezes at the eaves, it can create ice dams. These dams can prevent melting snow from properly draining off the roof, leading to water infiltration under shingles and into the house, causing damage to the interior.

Leaks and Water Damage

Snowmelt and ice dams can lead to roof leaks and water damage, affecting ceilings, walls, and insulation. This can result in mold growth leading to mold damage and compromised structural integrity.

Gutter and Downspout Damage

The weight of snow and ice can damage gutters and downspouts. This can prevent proper drainage and lead to ice dams, as well as structural damage to the gutter system itself.

Siding and Window Damage 

Snow and ice can cause exterior damage to a home’s siding and windows. As snow and ice accumulate and melt, it can seep behind siding and window frames, causing deterioration and potential water damage.

Foundation Damage 

The weight of heavy snow can press against the foundation of a home, potentially leading to cracks or shifting. This can result in structural instability and water infiltration.

Damage to Trees and Branches 

Falling trees or large branches covered with heavy snow can damage the roof, siding, or other parts of the house, posing a risk to both the structure and its occupants.

Frozen Pipes

Extreme cold associated with heavy snow can freeze water pipes, causing them to burst and leading to significant water damage inside the home.

Chimney and Vent Obstruction

Heavy snow accumulation on the roof can block chimneys and vents, potentially leading to carbon monoxide buildup and a risk to the families health.

Septic System Issues 

In areas with septic systems, heavy snow and frozen ground can make it difficult for sewage to properly drain, potentially leading to backups or damage to the septic system.

Electrical Issues

Accumulated snow and ice can weigh down power lines, potentially leading to power outages or damage to the electrical infrastructure.

Snowmelt Flooding

As heavy snow begins to melt, it can cause flooding, especially if drainage systems are blocked. This can result in water damage to basements and lower levels of the home.

To mitigate these risks, homeowners in areas prone to heavy snowfall should consider proper insulation, roof reinforcement, gutter maintenance, and regular snow removal from roofs and walkways to reduce the potential for damage and ensure the safety and integrity of their homes during the winter months.