Winter Storm Restoration: The Homeowner’s Guide to Damage

When temps dip in PA, MD, and other Mid-Atlantic states, you know what follows: winter storms. And those bouts of ice and snow can do a number on your home’s exterior—which means winter storm restoration could end up on the to-do list.

But what kind of damage might be covered under your homeowner’s policy?

Generally, many insurance policies will cover the following types of damage that require repair or winter storm restoration. However, every homeowner’s policy is different, so always check the details of your policy to determine exactly what coverage you have.

Damage from Ice Dams

These occur when melting snow or ice freezes at the edge of the roof–it often happens when temperatures dip at nightfall. The frozen ice dams up and prevents additional snow from flowing into gutters to be carried away from the home. Water pools on the roof, damaging shingles and working its way into the home’s interior. Learn more in Homeowner’s Guide to Ice Dams.

Damage from the Weight of Snow or Ice

Heavy snows or storms that bring thick ice accumulation can cause significant damage in Lancaster, PA and other areas of the Mid-Atlantic. Roofs in poor repair or those already damaged by rot or termites are particularly vulnerable.

Unfortunately, there are no general answers to the question: how much snow or ice can my roof handle? The specific answer depends on many factors, including your roof’s structural design and whether the snow is light and fluffy vs. heavy and wet.

Signs that you have cause for concern with heavy snows or ice include:

  • Creaking, popping, or cracking sounds in the attic
  • Interior changes, like cracked walls and sagging ceilings
  • Newly jammed doors or windows

Visible signs of too much snow or ice on the roof should always be inspected by a professional, like a structural engineer or expert roofer with storm assessment experience.

Damage from Winter Winds

Blizzards and other heavy winter storms can tear away features like roofing shingles and gutters. This type of damage can allow water to seep into your home’s interior or pool around the foundation, where it can cause significant damage if not addressed.

Damage from Fallen Trees

Trees weighed down by snow or ice can wreak havoc on a home’s exterior, from pulling down gutters to damaging roofing shingles. Many insurance companies will cover winter storm restoration damage of this kind as long as the storm was the reason the tree fell.

Preventative Maintenance Can Reduce Exterior Damage

While you can’t prevent all the damage Old Man Winter causes, you can take steps to prevent some of it:

  • Keep trees trimmed and cut out any weak, dying limbs
  • Get your roof inspected by a professional to ensure it’s in good repair
  • When a storm is in the forecast, do everything reasonably possible to prepare, such as securing outdoor items that can blow into your home and cause damage

Following a bad storm, get your home back the way it was.

Best Contracting offers roofing experts trained to identify storm damage. If your home requires winter storm restoration, count on our team to make an accurate assessment and work with your insurance company to ensure the repair makes your home feel like home again.

Contact us for a free roof or gutter inspection.

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