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Top Tips to Protect Your Property From Water Damage in the Winter

As winter wraps its frosty fingers around your home, the risk of water damage from frozen pipes, flooded basements, and other cold-weather calamities rises. Even with preventive measures like opening cabinet doors and leaving faucets dripping, the relentless winter chill can penetrate your defenses, leading to costly and inconvenient damage. 

Use these essential tips for preventing winter water damage to effectively navigate the challenges of the coldest winter months and keep your home dry, safe, and warm.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Keeping your pipes from freezing is a vital step to preventing water damage to your home during the winter. Here are a few ways to keep your pipes from freezing during the coldest months of the year. 

Insulate Your Pipes

Adding insulation to your pipes, especially those in unheated or vulnerable areas like basements, attics, and garages, is crucial. Insulation materials like foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass can significantly reduce the risk of freezing by retaining the warmth within the pipes.

Keep the Heat On

Maintaining a consistent indoor temperature day and night or even when the property is unoccupied ensures that the warmth reaches the pipes and reduces the likelihood of freezing. A thermostat setting of at least 55°F is generally recommended to provide sufficient warmth in the home to prevent freezing.

Let Faucets Drip

Allowing a slight drip from your faucets can relieve pressure buildup in the water system. Since it’s the pressure that causes pipes to burst when they freeze, a small, continuous trickle can prevent this issue.

Seal Cracks and Openings

Inspect your home’s exterior for any cracks or openings where cold air may be able to enter, particularly in areas where pipes run. Sealing these gaps with caulk or insulation helps further shield your pipes from freezing temperatures.

Open Interior Doors

Improving the circulation of heated air helps maintain a more consistent temperature throughout your home. Keeping interior doors open, including kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors, allows warm air to circulate the plumbing, especially if the pipes are located under sinks or in other enclosed spaces.

Spotting the Signs of Water Damage

Another weapon against costly water damage is noticing the signs. Be aware of the following indications that water is damaging your home so that you can seek help before it gets worse. 

Unusual Sounds

Be alert to sounds of dripping, rushing, or gurgling water within your walls, floors, or ceilings. These noises might indicate a leak or burst pipe, especially during extreme cold when the risk of freezing pipes is higher.

Visible Changes in Floors, Walls, or Ceilings

Water stains, discoloration, or swelling in your home’s floors, walls, or ceilings can signal water damage. Buckling or warping of flooring and peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper are also common indicators. This can also manifest as sagging or dropping drywall or plaster, which has become damp or moist to the point that it cannot hold its own weight.

Musty Smells

An ongoing damp or musty odor, especially in basements, bathrooms, or other areas prone to moisture, can suggest the presence of excess moisture or the onset of mold growth, both of which are related to water damage.

Visible Mold or Mildew

The appearance of mold or mildew, particularly outside of typical locations like showers, indicates excessive moisture levels, often due to hidden leaks or water accumulation. Telling them apart may take some investigation. Mold will colonize materials, while mildew is a surface growth, so if you rub the surface and the discoloration comes off it is likely mildew. You can also do the bleach test by putting a drop or two of bleach on the discoloration, and if it lightens after a few minutes it is likely mold. 

Increasing Energy Bills

An unexpected spike in your water bill could point to a leak in your plumbing system. Monitoring your water usage can help identify anomalies that may be attributed to concealed water damage. 

Immediate Steps to Take After Discovering Water Damage

If you notice water damage in your home, acting fast is essential. Follow these steps to get a head start on damage mitigation.

  1. Shut Off the Water Source: Immediately locate and close the main water valve to stop further water flow if the damage is due to a leak or burst pipe.
  2. Turn Off Electrical Systems: Safely turn off electricity in affected areas to prevent electrical hazards, especially if water is near outlets or appliances.
  3. Document the Damage: Take comprehensive photos and videos of the damage before beginning cleanup efforts. This evidence is crucial for insurance claims and assessments by restoration professionals.
  4. Start Removing Water: Use whatever means available (buckets, mops, towels, wet vacuums) to begin removing standing water as quickly as possible to reduce the extent of the damage.
  5. Contact Property Craft for Professional Assistance: For significant water damage, professional expertise is often necessary. Property Craft offers services like burst pipe cleanup, structural drying, dehumidification, and mold remediation to effectively restore your property.

Partnering with Property Craft for Winter Water Damage Protection

As winter’s chill sets in, safeguarding your home against water damage becomes critical. Property Craft stands as your vigilant partner in this task, offering a blend of preventive advice and professional restoration services designed to shield your property from the ravages of winter weather.

Property Craft is a Water Damage Recovery Leader in Colorado

In the heart of Colorado, where winters can be harsh and unforgiving, we’ve established ourselves as a leader in water damage recovery. Our expertise in thermal inspection and imaging, structural drying, and mold remediation equips us to tackle any challenge, ensuring your home remains safe and dry. 

When the winter cold brings the threat of flooded basements and burst pipes, remember that Property Craft is just a call away, ready to restore peace of mind with our professional, efficient, and compassionate approach to water damage recovery. Reach out to Property Craf online or call (719) 793-9404 to speak to a local expert about your needs. 

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