Each season brings its own challenges and it’s essential that your business be prepared to withstand whatever comes your way. Immediately you may think of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and fires. While these are all catastrophes that a homeowner and business owner should be prepared for, winter storms should also be on your radar.
In 2021, winter storms caused a record $15 billion in insured losses (Source: Insurance Information Institute). These losses stemmed from damages caused by snowfall, ice storms, and freezing temperatures.
5 Common Winter Loss Claims
- Roof Damage
If you live in an area that receives a significant amount of snowfall, you will want to be aware of the potential damage to your home or business’s roof. According to USA Today, “ten inches of fresh snow equates to about five pounds per square foot, which means your roof likely can support four feet of fresh snow. Packed snow, however, weighs more: two feet or more of old snow is enough to exceed weight limits. Old snow and new snow combined can easily exceed load capacity. Just two feet of each could collapse a roof. And don’t forget to add ice to the equation. An inch of ice is equal to the weight of a foot of fresh snow.”
Adjusters International records that roof damage claims spike in the winter months due to snow damage. To prevent snow from damaging your roof, it may be necessary to frequently clear snow off the roof or hire a professional to maintain the roof.
- Tree & Limb Damage
Another way you can protect your home or business from roof damage or other structural damage is by clearing away dead trees before winter storms. The weight of snow and ice on dead trees or limbs could cause them to break off and fall on your home or business.
- Fire Damage
According to Adjusters International, house fires are another common claim in the winter season. Due to the increased use of space heaters, furnaces, fireplaces and other heating sources, house fires spike during these months.
You can keep your home or business safe from fires by having your heating and cooling system cleaned and inspected by a professional, having your home’s electrical system inspected by a licensed professional and properly using space heaters and extension cords.
Keep in mind, if your home or business suffers fire damage, it will also endure damage caused by smoke, soot and the water used to put out the blaze.
- Water Damage
Water damage is also a common claim during the winter months. This is often due to frozen pipes bursting in a home or place of business. American Family Insurance reports that temperatures only need to get down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit for pipes to freeze and pose a threat.
In order to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting, American Family Insurance suggests covering exposed pipes with insulation sleeves, turning off all outdoor faucets, letting water drip from the sinks indoors, and monitoring pipes in uninsulated parts of the building.
- Ice Dam Damage
Finally, damage from ice dams is one of the most common types of insurance claims during the winter months. An ice dam is a build-up of ice that often occurs on the eaves of sloped roofs and heated buildings.
Ice dams can block melted snow from falling off the roof which can cause leaks, roof damage, and other serious structural damage. To prevent ice dams from forming, it is critical to keep gutters clean, frequently clear snow and ice off of the roof and keep the temperature of the roof the same as the eaves.
Winterizing your home or business is essential and can save you millions in property loss claims. If you encounter any of these winter storm damages to your home or business, Sasser Restoration is ready to respond 24/7.