9 Parts of Your Home to Check for Winter Weather Damage

The frigid temperatures and piles of snow outside can do more than put a damper on your mood—they also have the ability to do a number on your house. The winter months can stretch your home to its limits, from the pipes in your kitchen to the cement in your driveway. When temperatures dip below freezing, there are several vulnerable areas of your property that are subject to potential problems that you'll have to fix come springtime. Check these spots for winter weather damage and follow our tips to prevent damage from occurring in the first place.

  1. The Roof

    Winter Damage Roof

    Condensation and freezing temperatures can cause severe damage on your roof, including ice dams that lead to roof leaks, strong winds that loosen shingles and icicles that put stress on your roof. To avoid any major blows to your roof, remove any icicles immediately and fix damaged shingles as soon as the wintry weather allows.

    Related: 11 Mistakes Homeowners Make Every Winter


  2. Gutters

    Winter Damage Gutters

    Winter can spell big trouble for your home when ice and snow build up in blocked gutters, resulting in ice dams. Clear your gutters of debris before cold weather arrives, then keep an eye on them in freezing temperatures to make sure they stay clear of dangerous amounts of ice. If ice dams do form, clear out your gutters by applying a de-icing agent or string a heated gutter cable to melt the ice and move the water away from your house.


  3. Windows

    Winter Damage Windows

    Fluctuations in winter temperature cause caulk to pull away from windows, which in turn creates drafts that let warm air out and cold air in. If you notice that your home is particularly drafty, check your windows and reapply caulk to any cracks to warm up your home and save on energy bills.

    Related: Drafty Windows? Solutions for Every Budget


  4. The Driveway

    Winter Damage Driveway

    You dutifully shovel your driveway each time it snows, and you apply ice melt to the concrete or asphalt surface to protect prevent slips and falls, but these winter chores can cause damage to your driveway. Check your driveway for chips and cracks each spring, and guard against damage each winter by using a rubber bladed shovel and by avoiding de-icing agents with harsh chemicals, which corrode driveway materials.


  5. Trees

    Winter Damage Trees

    Trees provide shade in the summer and beauty in the fall, but wintry conditions can put their life and limb at risk. When subjected to low temperatures and heavy condensation, tree limb can break and fall on your roof, siding or power lines. The best way to prevent winter damage on your trees is to prune them during the fall, clear them of snow build up in the winter, and remove cracked limbs in the spring.


  6. Pipes

    Winter Damage Burst Pipes

    On the coldest days and nights, your plumbing pipes may be at risk for freezing and bursting. To avoid this plumbing catastrophe when temperatures dip, insulate your exposed pipes with heat tape or foam pipe insulation, open cabinet doors under your sinks to help warm air circulate around the pipes, and turn on your faucet to a slow drip to keep water flowing.

    Related: 10 Places You’re Forgetting to Winter-Proof


  7. Doors

    Winter Damage Doors

    Your doors keep out the worst of winter, but when exposed to wintry conditions the frames around your doors can grow soft and damp, potentially leading to wood rot and an invitation to termites in the springtime. As temperatures warm and spring arrives, check each of your door frames and fill damaged areas with epoxy wood filler. If the damaged area is extensive, consider replacing the entire door frame.


  8. The Steps

    Winter Damage Outdoor Steps

    Like your driveway, your front steps can incur significant damage during the icy temperatures in the form of cracks, loose bricks, chips and crumbling concrete. Clear snow from your front steps with a rubber bladed shovel and avoid using harmful de-icing agents like rock salt. A safer alternative is potassium chloride de-icer.

    Related: 11 Ways to Winterize Your Home on a Budget


  9. The Basement

    Winter Damage Basement Flooding

    Although basement flooding can happen at any time of the year, melting ice and snow can push their way into your basement through cracks, creating a big headache for you. The best way to prevent this subterranean flooding from occurring is to check your sump pump to ensure it’s working correctly and clear drain clogs before a snowstorm.

    Related: 23 Brilliant Hacks to Help You Weather Winter


  10. Weather Winter

    Weather Winter

    Be vigilant in winter so that your home is ready for spring.


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