The holiday season is the most joyful time of the year—but it also brings significant risks.
According to FEMA—the Federal Emergency Management Agency—winter flooding is a risk for every region of the United States.
Here’s what can cause significant flooding during winter months, and some safety tips for how you can best prepare your home to prevent a flooding situation.
Causes Of Winter Flooding
These are some of the most common causes of winter flooding for homes and businesses throughout the United States each year.
For many areas across the country, like us here in Rochester, New York, heavy snowfall is common. During a sudden thaw, this ice and snow can quickly melt—creating a massive amount of water runoff.
Because the ground is still frozen, there’s nowhere for this water to absorb, so it fills up local rivers and lakes.
These excess runoff water can cause dangerous flooding, especially for homes in lower areas. Have your local water damage restoration specialist on hand in case of an emergency situation.
The liquid inside the pipes in our homes can freeze when temperatures drop. Pipes along the exterior of the home or in crawl spaces are especially susceptible to freezing. Water damage can be prevented by insulating pipes or wrapping them in towels when it gets cold.
Wind and winter storms can erode coastlines in areas near oceans or lakes. Storm surges in these areas can also impact coastal communities and cause high water levels on the opposite side of lakes when the water level evens back out.
As heat from your home rises upward, it can warm ice and snow on the rooftop. This water then runs off to your rain gutters, where it re-freezes and causes dams for the future runoff. These dams will continue building up and the blocked runoff can flood roofs, attics, and interior walls.
You can help melt ice dams by installing electrical heat strips along the edges of your roof or adding extra insulation to your attic. It’s also important to make sure there’s sufficient ventilation in your attic so hot air can escape.
When it stays cold for long periods of time, the surfaces of rivers will freeze. A warm thaw or rising water levels can break the surface ice into large pieces that get stuck in bridges or natural obstructions. This causes the water level to rise and can lead to serious flooding for surrounding homes.
Precautions To Prepare For Winter Floods
Follow the directions above to prepare for a winter flooding situation. Also, purchase a flood insurance policy for your home or business and be familiar with its details.
Have a minimum 72-hour emergency kit on hand and have an emergency action plan in place. Go over the details of this plan with your family or employees regularly. Also, keep important items or documents in a waterproof container and have a minimum week supply of water and non-perishable food for everyone in your home.
In the chance, a flood does happen in your area and water damage restoration is necessary, take photos of your home and possessions for insurance purposes.
Flood Damage Restoration in Rochester, New York
If you do experience a flood, you don’t have to handle this traumatic time on your own. Trust the water damage restoration specialists at Chem-Dry of Rochester & The Finger Lakes. We’re here to help bring you peace of mind and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.
In case of a flooding situation, contact Chem-Dry of Rochester & The Finger Lakes within 48-72 hours to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.