Winter Is Coming! 3 Must Read Tips To Prevent Water Damage This Winter

As we all know, Utah has some crazy winters! This year it seems to have started a bit later than normal, as our first real snowstorm hit this morning. As Utahns, the first thing we want to do when we see this snow is hit the slopes and get some skiing in. As a homeowner, the first thing you should do is make sure you’re prepared for winter and are preventing the main causes of winter water damage. Keep in mind, these tips might take time and a little money, but it’s a lot cheaper than your homeowner’s insurance deductible. Below, we’ll lay out 3 tips from our water mitigation experts to help you prevent water damage. Remember, if you’re in the Salt Lake City area and have experienced the tragedy of water damage to your home, give Disaster Doctors a call today, and one of our expert crews will be there in a flash.

Ice Damn on a Salt Lake City Home

Ice Dams can cause major damage. This one on a home in Park City caused over $3000 of damage.

1. Move any Snow and Ice from Problem Areas

A very common problem during snowfalls that has a tendency to cause water damage is not properly removing snow and ice from your home. It’s common to make sure your driveways and sidewalks are cleared of snow and ice, but are you making sure snow and ice are removed from other areas of your home? A major area to remove snow from, but one that might be harder to do, is your roof. When snow is left on your roof, it can create an edge on your roof, preventing melting now from draining off the roof properly. In the industry, we call this an ice dam. This can mean leaking through the roof. If your Salt Lake City home has a basement, it’s definitely a good idea to move snow and ice away from any basement windows. Leaks can happen very easily, and oftentimes, that kind of leak isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. If you have any cracks in your foundation, make sure those cracks are clear as well. If melting snow gets into the cracks and freezes, that freezing causes expansion, which can lead to some major damage to your foundation and inside.


2. Check your plants and Be Aware of Where you Plant Them

It may seem like an odd tip, but our experts have been cleaning up flooded Salt Lake City homes for years, and have identified all the problem areas, and this is one of the biggest culprits. Plants can cause water damage in a few different ways, and they all have to do with the roots. Some plants have roots that are very invasive. Invasive roots can grow in to your sprinkler system water pipes, main lines, and septic tanks, causing leaks. They can also grow into your foundation, causing cracks which can lead to leaks. It’s one of those things that may not seem like a necessary idea, until you experience a loss from a poorly planted plant.

3. Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze

A frozen water pipe means that water is now going to expand with the freeze. This expansion can, at minimum, deform and weaken your pipes, but it very well could cause too much pressure to build up, and break them. The unfortunate thing is you typically won’t notice a frozen pipe has broken until they thaw back out, and you have water everywhere. The pipes you mostly have to worry about are any that are outside your house, as well as those inside that don’t have access to heat, such as in your garage, under your cabinets, or in your basement. Here are a few tips to ensure your pipes don’t freeze during the cold season.

  •            Practice Prevention – Make sure all exposed pipes are properly insulated. Pipe sleeves are not that expensive, much cheaper than your insurance deductible!
  •            When you know the temps are going to drop, open any cabinets that will allow warm air to get to the pipes.
  •            Keep your garage door closed.
  •            Make sure your hoses are disconnected from your spigots.


If you happen to find yourself in a situation where water does enter your home and cause damage, remember to act fast, as the longer the water sits, the more damage it has the potential to cause. Give our technicians a call immediately, and we will have a crew to your home in an hour or less. Unlike other Salt Lake City water damage restoration companies, our main technicians answer the phones, 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week.

Windows in a flooded basement

Doesn’t look like much, but not cleaning up snow from around these windows caused over $1000 worth of water damage to this Salt Lake City home.