Are you worried that the upcoming Ohio winter will wreak havoc on your property? Well, most of our customers are always trying to minimize snow damage on their property, and we bet you’ll want to do it as well.
Every year, this Midwestern state often faces extreme snowstorms causing significant damage to homes.
Today, we’ll offer you some practical tips and preventive measures to protect your cherished home from the wrath of freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and fast thaws that will undoubtedly take a toll on your home.
Let’s dive in!
Understanding Snow Damage Risks in Ohio
Snow damage in Ohio presents more or less the same risks to every homeowner, ranging from substantial snow and ice build-up that can damage roofs, decks, porches, pergolas, and more, to foundation damage due to all the freezing and thawing cycles.
Let’s see some common problems you’ll want to be aware of this winter.
Heavy snowfall brings the risk of falling tree branches, posing a serious threat to Ohio homes. Winter storms can weigh down branches, making them prone to breaking off and causing significant property damage.
It’s vital for homeowners to regularly trim their tree limbs before winter hits full swing. This preventative measure helps keep both your home and surroundings safe from the menace of potential branch fallout during harsh weather conditions.
Ice and snow buildup presents a significant risk to Ohio homes. Heavy snowfall amounts put undue stress on your roof, especially if left uncleared over time. The prolonged weight exacerbates any pre-existing structural weaknesses leading to potential collapse of vulnerable areas.
Severe winter storms can also trigger the formation of ice dams at the edge of your roofline. These hazardous blocks stop melting snow from draining off, allowing water to back up and seep under shingles or other roofing materials.
This infiltration causes persistent leakage onto insulation and interior spaces over freezing temperatures, accelerating decay within your home infrastructure.
Freezing temperatures often lead to a common winter issue – frozen pipes. Cold weather conditions cause water within the pipes to freeze. This phenomenon results in an increased pressure inside the pipe, which might eventually result in bursting pipes causing serious damage and costly repairs.
Therefore, it’s vital for homeowners to take preventive action by insulating their pipelines or maintaining a safe, consistent temperature throughout their homes during cold months of varying Ohio climate.
Insulating pipes, distributing heat evenly throughout the home, and letting a slow trickle of water flow through faucets connected to vulnerable pipes overnight are 3 ways to avoid frozen pipes.
The weight of accumulated snow can strain and crack wood or other materials used in decking construction, leading to costly repairs or even a total replacement of the structure.
Plus, trapped moisture from melted snow seeping into small cracks or openings may lead to mold growth – a threat not only to the integrity of your deck but also potentially harmful for those with allergies or respiratory issues.
Furthermore, repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles – common in Ohio winters – exacerbate this problem by expanding and contracting these crevices which further weakens the material’s strength over time.
Regular removal and cleanup after each snowfall should be part of routine maintenance tasks for homeowners desiring healthy longevity for their decks till next summer season arrives.
Icy driveways and walkways can be disastrous, posing a significant risk of slips and falls during the winter season. Snowfall amounts in Ohio are substantial, leading to frequent formation of ice as temperatures fluctuate between freezing and thawing.
Homeowners are advised to manage this risk by promptly clearing snow and sprinkling ice melt or rock salt on all walking surfaces about the property. Regular checking for icy patches is also an essential practice, especially after a storm or drastic drop in temperature.
Careful attention to these measures can effectively reduce slip hazards due to ice at your home throughout the damaging winter weather period.
Further Reading: Can Snow Damage Your New Driveway? Top Tips For Prevention
Steps to Protect Your Home Against Snow Damage
Before the harsh winter weather kicks in, start by winterizing your deck or outdoor area to prevent snow and ice damage. Regularly clear any accumulated snow off of your roof and deck to alleviate the weight stress on these structures.
Winterizing your outdoor space
Clearing snow off of your roof and deck
One crucial way to protect Ohio homes from freezing and snow damage is through the proactive activity of clearing snow off your roof and deck. This process can significantly reduce the risk of damage during harsh winter weather conditions.
- Make it a habit to regularly inspect your roof for snow and ice buildup. Use a long – handled roof rake with wheels to remove the load safely without damaging your shingles.
- Watch out for signs of ice damming. These are icy buildups on the edge of roofs that prevent snowmelt from draining off, often causing serious damage.
- Consider hiring a snow removal professional for large jobs or awkwardly shaped roofs, decreasing any personal safety hazards.
- Conduct regular inspections of your deck before and after each winter storm, watching out for cracks or weaknesses caused by heavy snowfall amounts.
- Swiftly shovel off any gathered snow from your deck using a plastic scoop or shovel that won’t scratch or gouge the wood.
- Avoid using salt or other chemical melting agents on your deck—these can discolor the surface and corrode metal fasteners.
Insulating and protecting pipes
- Install pipe insulation on all exposed pipes outside and in areas of your home that don’t get much heat like basements, crawl spaces, and garages.
- Pipe insulation helps maintain higher inside temperatures even when the temperature drops drastically.
- Apply heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables on vulnerable pipes. These items generate warmth that prevents freezing during harsh winter weather.
- Leave cabinet doors under sinks open to let warm air circulate around the pipes. This simple act helps combat freezing temperatures.
- Keep a slow trickle of water running from faucets connected to the most susceptible pipes. Moving water is less likely to freeze.
- Sealing cracks and gaps where cold air may enter and affect your pipes helps maintain an optimum temperature around them.
Spreading salt on driveways, pathways, and sidewalks
- Buy enough deicing salt: Make sure to stock up before winter storm season hits Ohio homes.
- Use rock salt or calcium chloride: These types are most effective in melting snow and ice.
- Distribute evenly: Don’t dump large amounts in one spot; spread it out for better coverage.
- Apply early: It’s a good idea to spread the salt before snowfall begins if you know a storm is coming.
- Keep away from plants: Both rock salt and calcium chloride may damage plants or grass they come into contact with.
- Reapply when necessary: After heavy snowfall, you might need to clear off the existing snow and lay down more salt.
Further Reading: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Shovel Snow If You’re Over 50
In Ohio, bracing your home for snow damage is absolutely essential. Ensuring your outdoor space is winterized and your roofs are cleared off snow can significantly reduce risk.
Proactive maintenance can ensure the beauty and safety of your home regardless of how harsh the winter weather might turn out to be.
You can also check out our snow removal subscription and be on the list of our priority customers, while all others struggle to find someone to shovel the snow off their property!