No matter how well you prepare your home during fall, winter weather still has the potential to cause a lot of wear and tear on your home. The snow, ice, and moisture that winter brings are hard on various parts of your house, so it’s important to inspect these areas after every winter storm. Here are 7 ways that winter weather damages your home.

Winter Weather Damages Your Home with Ice Dams

Ice dams happen when water freezes inside the gutters and snow builds up on top of them. They cause a lot of problems because the water inside the gutters expands and can crack the guttering. Additional snow weighs them down and may cause the gutters to detach entirely.

The best way to prevent this from happening is to clear out the gutters before a snowstorm hits. If you are already experiencing ice dams, you could apply a de-icing agent to the gutters or run a heated cable to melt the ice.

Cold Temperatures Crack Caulk

Under cold temperatures, the caulk around windows can shrink and crack and allow cold air indoors. Luckily, this is an easy problem to fix. If you notice cold air around closed windows, scrape away the existing caulk and use a caulk gun to seal the gaps. You’ll make your home energy-efficient if you take on this task at any time of the year.

Heavy Snow Strains the Roof

If your roof is already vulnerable, heavy snow sitting on top of it can lead to roof leaks. Missing shingles and broken flashing are already compromised, and the strain that snow and ice cause may create other openings. When the snow and ice begin to melt, water can infiltrate the roof boards and possibly reach the attic.

Driveway Damage

Chemical de-icing agents and metal shovels take a toll on your driveway. You may notice chips or cracks in the pavement after a long winter. To prevent future damage, invest in a rubber shovel and ice melt without harsh chemicals.

Winter Weather Damages Your Home with Frozen Pipes

One of the most common and inconvenient ways that winter weather damages your home is by freezing plumbing pipes. When water freezes inside pipes, it expands and is likely to crack or burst the pipe. This interrupts your water supply, floods areas of your home, and requires expensive repairs to the pipes and any damaged materials. Wrap your pipes in insulation to prevent this from happening.

Basement Leaks

When the snow piled up around your foundation begins to melt, it can seep into the basement through even the smallest cracks. After a snowstorm, carefully check the basement for moisture and dry it up immediately to prevent mold. Take note of where water has leaked in and waterproof those areas.

Winter Weather Damages Your Home’s Door Frames

Snow piling up around the doorway and people coming in and out exposes the door frame to a lot of moisture. If you experience cold and wet winters, you might notice that the paint is peeling from your door frame or that it’s showing signs of rot. Rotted wood is an invitation for termites come spring. Replace a rotted door frame and minimize its exposure to water by trying to stay cozy at home during a snowstorm.

Rambo Inspection Services provides home inspections for Chicagoland. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to book an appointment.