Tips to Avoid Winter Damage from Snow, Ice and Water

Published on | log homes |Josh Horner

Winter is upon us and that means wrapping up warm and protecting yourself from the cold weather outside. Cold weather can wreak havoc not only on your health during winter but on the health of your home too.

Ice, snow and water all have the potential to do a lot of damage to your log home—damage from winter weather is the third highest reason for property loss—but by taking a few simple precautions you can avoid unnecessary repairs come spring. Don’t become another statistic but instead protect your home this winter with these simple yet highly effective tips.

1. Check External Spigots

One of the biggest causes of damage to log homes in the wintertime comes from water. In certain areas it is very common for temperatures to go below freezing during winter. As we all know, any water left in pipes or faucets can freeze and, depending on the amount of water, can cause serious damage.

The external pipes of your log home are the most susceptible. One preventive step is to turn off the external spigots to avoid any damage. Turning off the external spigots will stop the water supply to outside faucets and you can run them after to ensure that there are minimal amounts of water left in the pipes. The last thing you need is a burst or cracked pipe from the water inside expanding when the temperatures drop.

2. Winterize Your Home

If you're taking a vacation this winter, or spending any extended period away from your log home, make sure to winterize your log home before you go to prevent any damage while you are gone. The first thing you should do is turn off the water supply at the main shut off valve to avoid damage to the water pipes. Next, the water heater must be drained. Follow the best practice for the type of home heating system you have and if you are at all unsure, consult a local plumber—the water is hot!

3. Ice Dams

Ice dams form along the edge of your homes roof. When the house is warm inside, snow melts off the top of the roof causing the water to run down to the cooler edges of the roof (eaves aren't very well heated, since they extend past the edge of your home) where it refreezes and eventually accumulates. Over the winter months, ice dams will trap water on your roof and with nowhere else to go it can cause irreparable damage to your roof. To avoid this from happening, keep an eye on the edge of your roof over the winter period.

If you see ice build up occurring don’t hack away the ice, this will cause further damage as will throwing on salt. Instead, pull off the snow slowly with a long handled aluminum roof rake while you stay safely planted on the ground. A snow rake will likely do less harm than the one you just used in the fall, but be careful! The ice can still damage your roof no matter how careful you are.

4. Keep Your Log Home Warm

Not only will keeping your log home warm during winter keep you and your family nice and cozy, but it can help protect your home from winter damage too. It will keep your wooden furniture from drying out and it will stop the seals in your appliances from cracking.

Follow our tips and keep your home safe from the harsh winter weather this year.