Residents can take steps to better protect themselves in the event of severe snowstorms, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.
Roof collapses remain one of the biggest hazards during a large snow. As snow melts, flooding can also occur.
To prevent snow damage, residents can:
-- Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris to prevent ice dams.
-- Ensure that drains in outdoor basement stairwells and window wells are functional. Remove snow from these areas after the storm has ended.
-- Remove outdoor flower or window boxes hanging on a home's exterior because snow can accumulate and melt against the building exterior.
-- Ensure skylights and other roof openings have proper weather stripping or gaskets around the perimeter to keep snowmelt from seeping through.
-- Remove icicles hanging from gutters and over walkways.
-- Install an emergency pressure release valve in plumbing systems to protect against increase pressure from freezing pipes. If extremely cold temperatures are expected and a plumbing system has no pressure protection, cut off the main water supply outside the house.
-- Closely watch snow accumulation on roof sections on the downwind side of higher-level roofs. Blowing snow will collect here and create uneven loading conditions. Consult a roofing contractor if necessary to ask about safe snow removal.
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