Are you ready for another Chicago Winter?
It’s that time of year in Chicago when we need to be proactive about protecting our homes from potential winter damage. Both of us here at Chicago North Shore Moms have learned the hard way that water and storm damage isn’t something you want to go through it you can avoid it!
We recently chatted with owners of Restoration 1 of Chicago North Shore, Kevin and Kristi Ramirez about having your home Winter ready. *The below article is written by Restoration 1.
The winters in Chicago can be a challenge for all of us. The biggest challenge for a homeowner is what you do not see, or hear… until it is too late! Many of our clients are awakened to water dripping down from their ceiling, a hissing sound from a burst pipe or walking into their basement and finding a foot of water. There is rarely a warning and it’s an unpleasant surprise to say the least.
What can cause these disasters? Ice damming, a frozen pipe, a failed sump pump and/or ejector. Any of these can happen to any home if you are not prepared or forget to take measures of preventative maintenance. If after this happens, do you have enough coverage on your homeowner’s policy to pay for the damage?
In our industry, none of these can happen more often than the other. We find during the first freeze; homeowners tend to forget to remove the hose from the outdoor spigot. Even if you have the newer frost-free types, it can still freeze and bust. Moreover, when they leave for vacation, they the heat is too low or even turned off and we are hit with a polar vortex.
Regarding your sump pump, we would recommend replacing them in 2-2.5 years. They do not last forever, and they can get clogged up as well. Install a quality back up and a different time, alternate so the chances they do not fail around the same time. Furthermore, use a marine type of battery with an alarm to help during extended power outages and warning.
While we are still technically in the fall season, have your gutters cleaned out. With the temperatures hovering around the freezing point, water can get clogged, freeze and melt in the sun and the cycle repeats itself. When the ice dams up and the snow and ice melts during the day, it cannot go down the gutter. Where does it go? It finds the smallest crack in your roof and leaks through your attic and through your ceiling.
How much does it cost to mitigate and repair this damage? Several thousands of dollars! This type of disaster cannot wait to be mitigated. Microbial growth can begin in 72 hours (about 3 days)! Now, you have another problem on your hands.
Please remember to be proactive when you are preparing for winter. Contact your insurance agent and review your homeowner’s policy. You can even add extensions for sump pump failure damage and mold. It is all worth the price!
Kevin and Kristi Ramirez
Restoration 1 of Chicago North Shore – The Water Damage Experts