The Hazards of Winter Weather on Your Home

December 06, 2021

The winter season is among us, bringing low temperatures, heavy snow, and strong winds. All of the potential hazardous winter weather means that your home is at a higher risk during this time of year. The best thing you can do for your home is to prepare so that you can reduce your potential exposures.

Here are some ways that the winter season affects your home and how to help prevent it from occurring:

Roof Damage

Roof leaks and loose shingles can occur due to ice dams or forceful winds. It is important to remove icicles and fix any other damages to help keep your roof intact.

Ice dams form due to ice and snow gathering in your gutters. Before the winter season, make sure to remove any debris from your gutters. If ice dams occur, use a de-icing agent to remove the snow and ice.

Chimney cracks happen because of the fluctuation in daily temperature during the winter, which causes expanding and contracting of the bricks of your chimney. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent this, so make sure to watch your chimney closely during the winter and do any repairs when the weather allows.

Inside Your Home

Shrinking plaster is a result of the air having less humidity during the winter than other times of the year. It is important to try to have your home stay at a consistent temperature. Also, a humidifier could minimize the potential cracking or shrinking of plaster in your home.

Cracks in the caulk by your window can occur because of changing winter temperatures. Cold air can sneak in when the caulk is pulled away from the window. If this happens, then reapply caulk to the cracks.

Rotting door frames is caused by exposure to winter weather. The door frames can become soft and wet, which could cause wood rot and potential termites in the spring. After winter, make sure to fill the areas that have damage with epoxy wood filler. If your door frame took on too much damage, then it may be best to replace it.

Plumbing trouble may include freezing or bursting pipes during the winter because of the cold temperatures. To help prevent this, it is important to insulate exposed pipes, let warm air circulate the pipes by keeping cabinet doors open, and leave your faucet running on a slow drip to keep water flowing.

Outdoor Hazards

Snapping tree limbs is caused by cold temperatures and condensation. As a result, tree limbs can crack and fall on your house or your power lines. The best prevention method is to remove any snow build-up on the limbs during the winter. Also, by pruning your tree in the fall, you can help to prevent wintertime damage.

Deck damage occurs because of winter weather. The moisture during wintertime creates perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow, which can lead to your deck being discolored if items like planters and debris are not moved before winter begins. You can prevent damage to your deck with a tarp or using a water repellant before the season commences.

Damaged driveway and front steps can result from shoveling the snow and using a de-icing agent. Even though clearing out the steps and driveways are an important chore to prevent slips and falls, it can cause cracks and chips. By using a rubber-bladed shovel and steering clear of de-icing agents that contain harmful chemicals, you can help prevent your driveway and steps from long-term damage.


At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do to prevent the elements from affecting your home. So, an important step to prepare for winter is to acquire home insurance to protect your home and your finances. Being financially protected while taking steps to prepare your home for winter should help lead to an easier winter season.

About Brooks, Todd & McNeil

Since 1839, the independent agents at Brooks, Todd & McNeil have been pleased to offer our community the best and most affordable policies from a variety of providers. Our dedicated facilitators are ready to put their 75 years of combined experience to work on your claims. To learn more about our products and services, contact us today at (800) 448-4567.