Seasonal changes often bring temperature fluctuations and inclement weather events which can cause challenges for homeowners. During the summer, you might have had to update your home’s HVAC unit or review your landscaping maintenance plans. Now that the winter is on it’s way, you’ll want to think about what the colder months might mean for your home. Watching out for these common winter home problems helps you to address any issues right away while also knowing that you are prepared for anything that could happen.

Burst Plumbing Pipes

Once the temperatures drop below freezing, you run the risk of having several common plumbing problems occur. Water that freezes in the pipes will expand, which can crack your pipes open and spill water. Alternatively, if your pipes are made from a more damage-prone material, like PVC, the cold temperatures can make your pipes brittle and more liable to break. Cracks or breaks in your plumbing can quickly lead to water damage in your home. Often, the water will pool behind walls, which means that you may need to cut into your walls to correct all of the damage.

Wrapping your pipes can help to insulate them from the freezing temps. You’ll also want to allow faucets to drip and keep the cabinet doors under your sinks open on nights when the weather gets extremely cold, especially if you aren’t home.

Broken Water Heater

A cold shower might sound refreshing after a day working outside in the summer heat. However, no one wants to deal with cold water in the winter. The thought of standing under freezing cold water is enough to tempt some people into skipping showers here and there in the winter months.

Due to the increased use of hot water during the colder months, it is common for the water heater to get overworked and then break down. You may want to have a water heater professional take a look at your unit early in the season. Older units might need to be replaced, but often, you’ll just need a tune up. If your hot water does give out, you can arrange for water heater repair to get your system up and running as quickly as possible.

Roof Leaks

Winter precipitation can sit longer on roofs where it can cause the most damage. As snow and ice melts off, you might notice it soaking through any damaged parts of your roof. During a major winter storm, make sure to check around your house for signs that water is getting in. If you find any, then call for roof repairs as soon as possible. Quick action can prevent serious water damage.

Ice Dams and Gutter Damage

Ice can also accumulate on the edges of your roof and in your home’s gutter system. These are called ice dams, and they can trap melting water, causing it to pool on your roof and leak into your home. Since ice expands, it can also cause cracks to develop in the gutters. Clearing out ice dams can prevent damage, but you’ll still want to inspect the gutters for damage periodically throughout the winter. Keeping this part of your house functioning helps to direct water away from the roof and exterior walls so that everything stays dry.

With a little preparation, you should be able to sail through the winter without any major hardships. If you do have a problem, then knowing who to call for repairs can ensure that you don’t have to wait long to get it fixed. This season, don’t get left in the cold. Create a solid plan now for dealing with potential issues that could arise as the temperatures drop.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.