The winter months can be an especially harsh time for home-owners. No one wants to come home to a scorched living room, damaged appliances, or a caved-in roof. Here are three common disasters that can occur during the winter and some steps you can take toward preventing property damage:
1. FIREPLACE HOUSE FIRES
We all want to snuggle up next to the fire in the winter, but first, it's important to ensure that your fireplace is working properly to prevent house fires. Have a professional inspect your chimney to check for blockages, cracks, leaks, or faulty venting and have it cleaned on a regular basis. Do not overload your fireplace; keep just enough material to keep the fire burning. Overloading can cause the surrounding wall and roof to overheat and catch fire. Finally, always be sure that your fire is completely cooled before going to bed or leaving your home.
2. POWER SURGES
Power surges occur when the electric flow is interrupted and started again, or when a device directs electricity back into the system. The electrical spike can easily start a house fire or fry any appliances that are plugged in at the time of the surge. To prevent this disaster, shut off all lights in your home, use surge-protecting power strips, and make sure to unplug all your electronics such as televisions and computers, as well as appliances like toaster ovens and coffee-makers. This will also help you save power while you're away from your home, as many appliances use energy even when they're off.
3. ROOF SNOW AND ICE BUILDUP
Snow and ice buildup can cause expensive property damage if it is not taken care of immediately. Heat escapes from the attic which melts pre-existing snow and collects on the edges of the gutter system and freezes during the night. The accumulation of this heavy snow and ice can block water flow off the roof. Water is then pushed back under the shingles, soaking the underlying layer, which can result in water damage within the rooms below. Four feet of snow can weigh as much as sixty pounds, which is much too heavy for the average roof. If the amount of snow and ice reaches this limit, the roof may collapse entirely. Keep an eye on the weather around your home or business. Be prepared to shovel off your roof if you live in a place where heavy snow is expected.
Menold's number one priority is to restore your peace of mind through comprehensive, customer-oriented service. Let us make it better! If you have experienced water damage or fire damage during the winter months, please call our 24-hour Emergency Service line at 877-636-6537.