How To Prevent Seasonal Property Damage

A photo of a living room with a burst pipe behind the wall spraying water from the right side across the room

© Henrik Sorensen - DigitalVision / Getty Images

Take steps to protect the house during the colder months. A lot of times that starts with the gutters. Unkept gutters can wreak havoc on a home during winter. Leaf Home, a company that offers home solutions, offers the following winter checklist to help homeowners prevent seasonal damage to their home.

Check your gutters for seasonal debris.

Make sure to remove leaves that have fallen into your gutters and check that pests or small animals did not seek shelter in them as they prepare for the colder months. Seasonal checks allow homeowners to ensure their gutters are in good condition, as it's common for underlying problems to appear during the winter.

Keep the winter weather outside by preventing drafts.

Conserving energy at home is all about leaving the outdoor climate outside. Windows and doors are the main points of entry into your home for unwelcome weather and drafts, so investing in those is a sure way to keep winter weather from entering. Take simple steps like checking for holes in your screens, making sure your windows are the right choice for your region’s climate, and adding window film or insulation.

Be aware of ice dams.

Ice dams are a large cause for concern in the winter months when gutters aren’t tended to frequently enough. Some gutter guards can actually make ice dams worse—especially reverse curve or gutter helmet products—because their large openings allow debris, snow, and ice inside the gutters. The weight can cause gutters to pull away from or even break from the home, so knowing how to maintain them is key. Homeowners can also help prevent ice dams by boosting ceiling and roof installation, keeping your gutters clear and clog-free, sealing electrical cables and vent pipes, and proactively fixing cracks in chimney flashing.

Confirm your gutters are the right size for your home.

Often, gutters aren’t the right fit or size for a house, making it easier for the weather to damage other spaces through them. This is particularly common in older homes and is important for homeowners to assess before trouble starts surfacing.

Salt and shovel your driveway and ramps.

A large seasonal concern and area of risk for homeowners, especially seniors, is falling on black ice or sheets of snow. Homeowners should ensure their sidewalks, driveways, and outdoor ramps are salted or shoveled to avoid slips or falls. If you are not able to do so yourself, recruit neighbors, family members, or a paid service.