WINTER WOES: Collapse and Water Damage Effects on Your Home
by Heather Mosher

WINTER WOES: Collapse and Water Damage Effects on Your Home

Even though it might not seem like it, spring will soon be upon us.  In order to get there, we have the last leg of winter to muscle through.  It is during this time of year that we start to see questions about claims in two distinct categories: water seepage in basements and collapse of roofing systems.  There are some important steps that you as a homeowner SHOULD be taking to minimize your risk of these nasty and time consuming problems.

Shoveling your roof periodically through the heaviest snow fall months will ensure that your roof stays clear of snow and ice.  Taking this preventative action will seriously cut down on the chances of roof collapse.  Remember, when your roofing system gives out, there is usually severe interior damage to contend with as well.  Choose carefully which tool you use to do this job.  We recommend a push broom or plastic shovel due to the fact that metal shovels can significantly damage shingles. Besides the obvious downside of loosened shingles, this can also lead to other costly problems including ice dams and interior water leakage.  Additionally, we recommend NEVER picking or chopping at ice buildup which can also have a severe damaging effect on the roof in general.

Important: When shoveling your roof, remember to push snow out and away from the foundation.  When snow piles up around a home’s foundation, it contributes directly to problem area #2 – basement water seepage and leakage. 

Unbeknown to most people, exterior water coming in through your basement or foundation is excluded by homeowners insurance.  This is something to think about when storing items in a basement which shows visible signs of water damage.  During the spring thaw, check your basement periodically to see is water is leaking through.  If so, pull items away from the walls, elevate your personal contents or store items in waterproof plastic boxes instead of cardboard.  If your basement is finished, it is even more important to have the proper drainage systems in place.  We recommend spending the money on the front end to have this done vs. finding out about a water problem after it’s too late.  Once water sets in to the foundation, there is a heightened chance of mold, wet rot, and fungus developing over time.  This can also result in costly out-of-pocket repairs.    As a home owner, get educated and learn to take proper preventative measures.  Check with your insurance advisor to see exactly how your insurance policy would respond.  To learn more, contact Heather Mosher | 906.315.7235 |


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