The 2015 winter has been a brutal time for most states in the Northeast, with much of the U.S. affected by the Arctic Blast and bone-chilling temperatures reaching 20 to 35 degrees below average. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and surrounding states have been overwhelmed by ice, snow, rain, wind and freezing weather causing power outages and property damage. Even Florida, a state known for its warm and sunny environment, is facing colder weather in the 20 degree range, which is almost hot compared to the below freezing temperatures felt by cities like Boston.
A big problem is when consistent snow builds during a long period of time, which forms into ice and “weighs about eight times more” than snow, according to Garrick Goldenberg, a Wentworth Institute of Technology professor.* This can result in “ice dams” – thick ice that forms along the eaves of the roof. The freezing and thawing cycle during the winter season causes water to back up and seep into homes, damaging ceilings, walls, insulation, floors, and furnishings. This can then lead to mold and severe health risks. Heavy snow has continued for the past week with snow forming on top of homes, businesses and other properties causing hundreds of roofs to collapse just in the Boston area alone. *WCVB.com
Experts at Paul Davis have been working around the clock to help the thousands of calls received from homeowners, insurance agents and adjusters, property managers and others needing help with commercial and residential building destruction.
Below are a few Extreme Cold Weather Tips to prevent your house or property from getting damaged:
- Scrape the snow off your roof as much as possible to prevent ice dams from forming.
- Utilize fireplaces, wood stoves and space heaters.
- Practice safety by checking ventilation, using fireplace glass doors and monitoring your fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Create a Fire Escape Plan and practice with your family or roommates.
- Avoid frozen pipes.
- Wrap all pipes with insulation, heat tape or newspapers to keep moisture out.
- Drip every faucet in the home or property.
- For already frozen pipes, turn each faucet on and pour hot water over pipes or use a hair dryer.
- Keep an Emergency Kit around.
- The ideal kit contains emergency contacts, insurance information, a 3-day supply of water and food, medications, toiletries, weather radio with batteries, blankets, flashlights and necessities.
- Use this Family Emergency Plan to keep your family safe: http://locations.pauldavis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/wp_EmergencyPlan_form-reduced.pdf
- Check on your neighboring homes, especially if they are elderly, disabled, or living alone.
We are confident these cold weather tips will keep you safe from harm as you stay warm during this chilly winter. If you do encounter property damage, please do not hesitate to Call Paul! We are here to assist you with multiple property damage services including water, fire, wind and storm damage to any type of residential or commercial building, including the furnishings and contents inside. Every Paul Davis professional is certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning Restoration Certification) and there for you 24/7 response.