Protect Your House from Winter Water Damage

Winter is still here and it can still inflict water damage on your home. Fluctuating temperatures, heavy snowfalls, that dreaded wintry mix, or plummeting temperatures can affect your house disastrously. However, there are ways to protect your house from these inclement threats. If you live in an area that experiences cold winters and winter conditions, you need to protect your home. Here are some tips on how to prepare your home to withstand some of the most common winter water damage threats.

Ice Dams

Ice dams can form on your roof and can flood your home from the upstairs down. They can cause damage to your walls, ceilings, and insulation. An ice dam is a sheet of ice that covers the gutters on your roof. It forms by melting snow moving from a warm portion of your roof to a cold portion, refreezing the melt off. The refreeze can block the gutters, stopping more melting snow, sleet, and water on your roof from reaching your gutters. This runoff will need somewhere to go and can find its way into your home via your attic and walls. To prevent ice dams from forming, make your ceilings airtight so that no warm moist air can travel up to the roof through the attic.

Burst Pipes

Poorly or noninsulated pipes are vulnerable in the winter months. Especially if any of these vulnerable pipes are exposed to outside temperatures, you are practically asking for one to freeze and burst. Once a pipe bursts, all the water running through it will fill the area that it is falling into. It is important to properly insulate all of your piping. This will mean different things depending on where you live. Make sure the pipe insulating you use is appropriate for how cold it gets where you live.


Both ice dams and burst pipes can cause winter flooding. However, there are other wintry flooding risks. If you live in an area where the temperature fluctuates and heavy rains can land on frozen ground, you are at a risk of flooding. Water will try and find a place to move and if the ground isn’t an option it will find other places. Ensure that your home isn’t the place it comes to rest. Make sure your foundation is well sealed. In the same way, prepare the house for cold temperatures by making the ceilings airtight and any vulnerable piping or ductwork is properly insulated. Flooding can happen unexpectedly, so make sure your house is ready to combat it.

The winter months are challenging for houses. The desire is to have a warm and cozy haven from the outdoor elements. Water damage can be a stealthy foe trying to take that haven away. The best way to keep that haven safe and water damage free is to prepare. However, if the winter elements hit your home unexpectedly and you do experience water damage, we are here to help. American Fire & Water Restoration will help make your home a wintry haven all over again. Give us a call, (847) 514-9305.

water damage cleanup

Why Not to Clean Water Damage up Yourself

There is no such thing as a small disaster. A mop and common cleaning products are not enough when it comes to water damage. When water damage occurs, it can contain unseen bacteria, cause mold, and create other damages. In any situation involving water, time is everything. The problem is that cleaning the water up thoroughly and recovering from the damage isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Below are some reasons why you should not clean water damage yourself.

Water Damage Will Get Worse

When water damages your property, cleanup must start immediately. There is a 24- to 48-hour window from the time something gets wet to the time mold begins to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you need the services of a professional mold remediation service to safely treat and remove the water and mold.

Get your property completely dry with a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction. At American Fire and Water Restoration, we use professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to complete the job as quickly as possible.

Professionals Have the Right Equipment

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that cleanup is over just because you don’t see any more water. The most critical part of the remediation process is drying out the area completely. Hidden water can be trapped inside the structure and may only be found with moisture detection equipment, so it’s important to have commercial dehumidifiers and fans to dry out the water fast enough to reduce the risk of water damage.

You May Overlook Details

In your effort to clean up the water damage as quickly as possible, don’t make the mistake of overlooking important details. It’s important to know which doors and drawers you should keep open or closed, how to remove carpet padding, and how to keep furniture safe. Also make sure that you’ve checked every place where the damage may have occurred. Moisture can hide in drywall and subflooring that you may not be aware of. This may only be detectable by special equipment.

DIY water damage cleanup is challenging, so it’s better to hire a professional to ensure all damage is gone. At American Fire and Water Restoration, we have the right tools, training, and experience to complete the job quickly, efficiently, and safely. Call us at 847-514-9305 or visit us online at