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Burst Pipes, Water Damage, and More-The Fury of Winter Storms

December 18th, 2013 · No Comments

Marshalltown, IA storm and water damage restoration by ServiceMaster of Marshalltown

Last February one of the stories that dominated national news was the monster storm that worked its way across the heartland of the Midwest. From Kansas through Nebraska, Iowa and to Chicago and beyond, the country experienced one of the worst winter storms in years. In some areas blizzard winds and 20 inch snowfalls paralyzed cities, towns and entire counties. In its wake, the storm left damage to homes and businesses across mid-America. That damage included ice damage to power lines and homes, damaged roofs, downed trees, burst pipes and heating related house fires.

Here in central Iowa, we’re no strangers to winter storms and the damage they can cause. It’s not possible to eliminate all risk, but following up on basic annual maintenance can help. A bit of care may prevent the devastation from a winter house fire or water damage caused by a burst pipe or leaking roof.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA, the months of December through March rank highest in the incidence of house fires. This is the time of the year when heating systems can be stressed to their max, especially during periods of extreme cold. Wood burning stoves, fireplaces, space heaters and poorly maintained chimneys and furnaces’ are often the culprit. Fire damage any time of the year can be stressful and difficult, but during the winter the urgency of quick cleanup and restoration is much greater. Along with that fire damage there is often water damage from putting out the fire, multiplying the urgency and stress.

Burst pipes during extreme cold and windy days and roof damage from heavy snowfall can result in water damage to your home or business.  Fortunately for you, a little prevention can go a long way. To help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, make sure to wrap vulnerable pipes with a good insulation. During an extended power outage from ice buildup on power lines or wind and fallen trees, your home may be without power and heat for days. An easy preventative step to help keep pipe from freezing during an extended power outage is to leave all the water faucets trickle just a bit. That can allow enough water to flow through the pipes to prevent freezing.

During long winters, ice dams can be your roof’s worst enemy. When heat escapes into the attic and through the roof, it heats shingles just enough to cause the snow pack to melt a bit and trickle water down the roof. When the water reaches the cold edge of the roof it freezes thus causing an ice dam. As ice dams get thicker, water can travel back under shingles and drip into walls and ceilings causing water damage and the possibility of mold growth. Making sure your attic is adequately insulated and ventilated is an important step in preventing ice-dams from forming.

However, despite out best efforts in the battle of man vs. nature, nature often wins and we’re left with a big cleanup from fire damage or water damage during the worst possible time of the year to deal with those disasters. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s the perfect times to call your friends at ServiceMaster of Marshalltown. We’ll be there to help you through the cleanup and restoration. When life seems most confusing, our staff of professionals will know what to do. You can depend on ServiceMaster of Marshalltown to handle the winter storm damage and get your home or business cleaned up and back on track so your life can get back to normal.

ServiceMaster of Marshalltown is proud to serve Marshall and Tama Counties along with the surrounding areas with service you can depend on. When winter has left you with a storm related cleanup or any other cleaning emergency, the best call to make is to ServiceMaster of Marshalltown. We’re the experts, so contact us today!

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