Michigan winters can be harsh and unforgiving, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures that can cause significant damage to properties. As a property owner in Michigan, it’s essential to be aware of the common water damage problems that can occur during the winter months. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most common water damage problems that Michigan property owners may face during winter and how to prevent them.

  1. Frozen Pipes

One of the most common water damage problems during winter in Michigan is frozen pipes. When the temperature drops below freezing, the water inside the pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst and flooding the property. To prevent frozen pipes, make sure to insulate any exposed pipes and keep the heat on in your property, even if you’re away.

  1. Ice Dams

Ice dams are another common water damage problem during winter in Michigan. Ice dams form when snow on the roof melts and then refreezes at the edge of the roof, creating a barrier that prevents melting snow from draining off the roof. This can lead to water damage inside the property. To prevent ice dams, make sure to keep the roof clear of snow and ice, and ensure that the attic is well-insulated to prevent heat loss.

  1. Sump Pump Failure

In Michigan, sump pumps are often used to prevent basement flooding. However, during winter, sump pumps can fail due to power outages or freezing temperatures. To prevent sump pump failure, make sure to have a backup power source and ensure that the sump pump is properly maintained and inspected regularly.

  1. Roof Leaks

Heavy snow and ice buildup can cause roof leaks, leading to water damage inside the property. To prevent roof leaks, make sure to inspect the roof for any signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, and have any issues repaired promptly.

  1. Burst Water Heater

During winter, water heaters are under more stress, which can lead to leaks and even bursts. To prevent a burst water heater, make sure to have it inspected and maintained regularly, and consider replacing it if it’s more than 10 years old.

  1. Snow Melt: When snow accumulates on your property’s roof or foundation, it can cause water damage when it melts. The weight of the snow can also cause damage to your roof, leading to leaks and water damage inside your property. Regularly clearing snow from your roof and around your foundation can help prevent water damage caused by snow melt.
  2. Gutter Problems: Clogged or damaged gutters can prevent melting snow from draining off your roof, causing ice dams and water damage. Make sure to regularly clean and inspect your gutters, and repair any damage or replace them if necessary.
  3. Poor Drainage: If your property’s drainage system is not working properly, melting snow can accumulate around the foundation and cause water damage to your basement or crawl space. Make sure your drainage system is properly maintained and functioning to prevent water damage caused by poor drainage.
  4. Water Line Breaks: Frozen water lines can also cause water damage during winter. If the water line to your property freezes, the pressure can cause it to burst, leading to flooding and water damage inside your property. To prevent water line breaks, make sure to insulate your water lines and keep your property’s temperature above freezing.
  5. Humidity: During winter, heating systems can cause low humidity levels inside your property, leading to dryness and cracking in wood and other materials. However, when the humidity is too high, it can lead to condensation and water damage. Make sure to maintain a proper balance of humidity inside your property by using a humidifier or dehumidifier as needed.

In conclusion, Michigan property owners should be aware of the common water damage problems that can occur during winter and take steps to prevent them. By being proactive and taking preventative measures, property owners can minimize the risk of water damage and protect their properties from costly repairs and restoration. If you do experience water damage, it’s essential to contact a professional water damage restoration company immediately to minimize the damage and prevent mold growth.