Hidden ways winter weather affects our homes

Cold winds, snow showers, frosts, fog, rainfall: the UK faces a mixture of cold weather conditions throughout the winter season. With winter running from around November to March, our homes are prone to some potentially extreme weather conditions that can affect our houses in many hidden ways.

So – keep reading to learn about the easily overlooked aspects in which our homes can be impacted by the wetter and colder conditions of this season.

Drainage issues from freezing temperatures

During the winter, many people make the error of not using their property’s drainage systems frequently enough. This, in turn, often leads to drain blockages or frozen pipes, wreaking havoc on drainage systems.

Because of cold and freezing temperatures, plumbing pipes can be at risk of freezing and exploding. If your drainage pipe becomes clogged, water will be forced back into your home, potentially causing water leaks and mould.

If you are on the lookout for a remedy to your drain blockage or frozen pipe problem from a trustworthy drainage company in Grays and Dartford, our drainage specialists at First Call Drainage UK are well-placed to assist.

Winter roof damage from snow and ice

Snowfall, if sufficiently heavy, can cause damage to your roof and landscaping outside. Ice dams can be formed by freezing cold temperatures and condensation, which can result in roof leaks, strong winds and icicles – all of which would apply strain and stress on your home’s roof. Melted snow could also flow into your home, creating potential flooding problems or water damage.

Winds cause gutters to block

Leaves can often be blown into gutters by the wind, which may result in clogged downspouts. When your gutters become blocked, water can pour into your home, flooding the downstairs areas of the property, and causing the formation of cracks.

The winter season also affects our homes in the form of ice dams which form when ice and snow pile up in blocked gutters, causing potentially significant damage to property. You should keep your gutters clear of debris as freezing weather approaches and keep an eye on them over the winter to ensure they don’t fill up with ice – otherwise, leaks will occur.

Strong winds cause damage

The movement of the jet stream in the winter creates significant growth in winds aloft, resulting in higher winds than normal. Trees and branches can be blown down by the wind, heightening the risk of damage to your roof and other elements of your home.

Your electricity bills could rise as a result of exposure to these components, and your home could be exposed to rain and melting snow that potentially causes mould to form around the building.

Moisture can rot wood and door frames

Moisture and wetness are a common occurrence during the winter due to melting snow and ice, rainfall, and condensation. And it’s worth bearing in mind that moisture tends to rot wood easily, with door frames being the most common form of wood within our homes.

Our doors keep the cold out, but when they are exposed to these moist elements, the frames around them can get mushy and wet. This, in turn, can lead to wood rot and attract termites when warmer temperatures begin to come back. 

The substantial effects of snowfall

We have briefly mentioned the effects of snowfall in this article, but it is worth emphasising just how critical the effects of heavy snowfall can be on your home.

If a substantial amount of snow accumulates on your roof or in your gutters, it can crack the guttering pipes or creep up under the roof. While the snow is still frozen, this isn’t a big deal, but it’s a good idea to clear it if you can and if it’s safe to do so. Water can leak through weak spots in slates, tiles, and roof lining, into your ceilings, and even walls, as soon as snow and ice begin to melt.

If there isn’t a lot of water, you might not notice it at first. However, it can lead to other issues like damp patches and mould, which are much more difficult to remove.

Frost heave

When soil is exposed to freezing temperatures, frost heave occurs. The sinking of cold air into the ground causes the water in the soil to freeze, thereby transforming it into small ice particles. Alternating freezing and thawing conditions exert pressure that lifts the soil and plants out of the ground.

Frost heave can result in the formation of cracks in a property’s walls, floors, and ceilings, and if the situation worsens, it can lead to more extensive damage.

Hopefully, the above rundown of some of the easy-to-forget threats to your property over the winter will enable you to be a bit more vigilant to some of those risks, so that you can take early action if required. Such action might include contacting our drainage experts at First Call Drainage UK, who can help give you the utmost peace of mind this season.