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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Winter Storms

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

When we think about storms, often the first thing that comes to mind is tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the spring and summer.  But winter in Wisconsin has its fair share of storms as well, and both can cause a significant amount of damage to your home or business.

According to Wikipedia, “A winter storm warning is a statement made by the National Weather Service of the United States which means a winter storm is occurring or is about to occur in the area, usually within 36 hours.  Generally, A Winter Storm Warning is issued if the following criteria, at least, are forecast: usually between 4 inches to 7 inches or more of snow or usually 3 inches or more of snow with a large accumulation of ice.”

A blizzard adds the element of wind.  “The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds causing blowing snow that results in low visibilities.  The difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind, not the amount of snow.  To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have sustained winds, or frequent gusts, that are greater than or equal to 32 mph with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to .25 miles or less and must last for a prolonged period of time – typically three hours or more”

Both winter storms and blizzards can cause a significant amount of damage to your home or business.  Most often the culprit is downed power lines from heavy ice or high winds.  No power in the spring and summer months can mean no working sump pump and a flooded basement.  No power in the winter months can cause a disruption in heat, which can lead to frozen and eventually burst water pipes.  And a burst water pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.  If your home or business experiences a disruption in heat during the winter months, it’s important that you monitor the temperature in your home and take action to prevent a water damage situation if the temperature drops too low. 

But a disruption in power or heat is not the only problem a winter storm or blizzard can create.  A storm that dumps a large accumulation of ice can also create an ice dam situation on your roof.  Typically ice dams develop somewhat slowly over the winter months.  But in rarer instances, a winter storm with a significant amount of ice, can create ice dam conditions as well.  The Fox Valley and surrounding areas had such a storm last winter.  Our phones were ringing off the hook with customers who had water leaking into their home from ice dams on their roof.

If your home or business experiences damage from a winter storm, our experts at SERVPRO of Appleton & Winnebago County are always here to help.

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