Winter weather is not only annoyingly cold, but it can result in damage to a home or building, both inside and out. Strong winds, ice, freezing and burst pipes, ice dams, and roof and flashing leaks can all lead to some hefty claims that can be incredibly costly if not covered.
While every area of the United States has its own issues related to Mother Nature, the northern half experiences freezing temperatures every year. These cold temperatures also statistically account for more than half of all homeowners’ insurance claims. Many of them are simply caught off guard when they notice the disaster as they are unprepared for what the winter weather can do.
Winter weather damage claims are more common than one would think with about 1 in 15 insured homes filing a claim each winter.
Here are the top 8 damage claims in the winter.
1. Winter Weather Damage
About 1 in every 30 insured homes experiences exterior wind damage and files an insurance claim every year. In fact, tornadoes, heavy winds, and hurricanes make up for some of the most destructive natural disasters on earth, especially in the Northeastern states. Wind is the most common cause of all claims.
It’s important to know and understand your insurance policy to know what is exactly covered so you can take proper precaution. You should especially check to see if there are any exclusions on wind damage.
2. Snow Damage
It may look pretty when it’s falling, but it’s incredibly heavy when more than a foot of snow accumulates. Snow has been known to damage decks, gutters, and even trees. In these situations, it’s important to contact a restoration company like ServiceMaster DAK to help restore your home or building from structural damage caused by snow.
3. Hail Damage
Almost 1 in every 30 insured homes will file a hail damage claim each year, and even small pieces of hail can cause considerable damage.
Damage to your roof caused by hail can also be costly. So, if you are located in an area that frequently experiences hail, consider adding hail-resistant asphalt shingles with a Class Four rating to keep your roof protected. Frequent roof maintenance will also be helpful in identifying and even preventing any leaks that can lead to serious water damage. A licensed, experienced roofer will also be able to restore your roof from any storm damage.
Having hail damage covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy can really be a breath of fresh air after a rainy day. Literally.
4. Water Damage from Frozen Pipes
About 1 in every 55 insured homes will file a claim related to winter water damage, most likely from freezing pipes and water loss. This is actually the most common cause of damage from freezing temperatures because the water within the pipes freezes, expands, and causes the pipes to break.
With water streaming everywhere, the surrounding building structure and items will be ruined without quick action. As soon as a pipe bursts in your home, immediately locate your water shutoff switch and turn it off. Then call a water damage restoration professional like ServiceMaster DAK.
A licensed plumber should also be contacted to fix the broken pipe.
5. Roof Damage
The combination of ice, snow, and even fallen branches can heavily weigh down on a roof, especially for older building materials. Any time you notice a leak in your roof or any other damage, don’t wait until spring to call a roofing company. Most often, they will provide emergency services to have it repaired and even provide a free quote to have it replaced in the spring.
6. Fallen Trees
Just as snow will weigh down on your roof, porch, and deck, it will also weigh down on trees. Trees aren’t as flexible as they usually are during the warmer months, especially with frozen branches, so they can easily snap.
If a frozen branch or even a tree falls and damages your home or building or blocks a pathway to your building, you may or may not have a covered claim. It will ultimately depend on the details of your insurance policy, the location of the fallen tree, and what exactly was damaged.
7. Power Failure
Extreme weather like blizzards and ice storms will take a big toll on the power lines, which can quickly leave you without power. If any of your electrical appliances, cords, or other electronics were damaged in the process, a covered claim can be incredibly helpful in paying for the damage.
Any excessive rainfall, sudden thaw, or melting snow can quickly result in flooding.
Surface water will cause flood damage, and any seepage from the ground is almost always not covered. But additional coverage from water/sewer backup and sump pump failure will be able to cover the cost of damage. Keep in mind this doesn’t cover flood damage; a separate policy will need to be purchased for that.
The best way to prevent damage claims from winter weather is to take preventative steps like keeping your home warm to prevent freezing pipes, having a backup power source, installing hail-resistant roofing shingles, frequent roof maintenance, and more.
Emergency Property Restoration Services
Although damage caused by Mother Nature is ultimately unavoidable as she is simply too powerful, it’s crucial to contact a restoration company like ServiceMaster DAK as soon as it happens.
Our professionals are available 24/7 in Northbrook, IL and the surrounding suburbs to provide water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, storm damage restoration and much more to restore your home and peace of mind. Using advanced equipment and professional products, we can extract all water and dry out the affected spaces, all while preventing mold growth during the drying process.
We will also repair the building structure from wind and snow damage from any winter storm, regardless of how far it spread. Any remaining debris, such as branches, broken glass, dirt, and rocks will also be removed to restore your home to its prior condition.
Finally, we will work with your insurance adjuster (provided the claim is covered) during the claims process for your peace of mind.
Don’t hesitate to contact ServiceMaster DAK at (847) 459-3900 for emergency restoration services in the Northbrook, IL area following a winter storm or extreme weather conditions.