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How Snow or Ice Can Damage Your Home

November 30, 2022


We’re getting ready for another winter here in Northern Virginia, and it’s good to be prepared for the cold weather. While you’re snuggling in by a cozy fire, you may not be giving thought to what’s going on outside—especially in a winter storm. Here are some ways snow or ice can damage your home, and how to prevent your house from harm.

Flooding Risks

When a heavy snow or ice pack melt, your foundation and drainage system may not be able to handle the over-heavy flow. Water can seep into your foundation and possibly flood your basement or crawl space.

Prevention Tip: Make sure the ground soil near the home slopes away from your foundation. Check drains to ensure they are not clogged. And take a look at your gutters and downspouts as well.

Downed Trees

Ice creates heavy load on trees and tree branches. If a tree is compromised, like with a split trunk, it can easy come down and damage your home, car or landscaping. Likewise, branches can break off from the weight.

Prevention Tip: Check trees for signs of weakness or damage before winter storms hit. Prune broken limbs, shore up compromised trunks, or contact a tree service.

Ice Dams

An ice dam happens when water gets trapped along your roof or in your gutters and freezes. Since frozen water expands, it can create gaps in your roofline where leaks can occur or destroy your gutter system. It can also lead to leaks inside your home.

Prevention Tip: Prevent or remove ice dams if and when they form.

Roof Leaks

If your roof has missing shingles, broken flashing or clogged gutters, water can seep underneath and create damage to the substructure, or even lead into your attic space.

Prevention Tip: Conduct a visual inspection of your roof to look for signs of damage and remediate them before it gets cold. Contact a roofing specialist for a more professional inspection.

Tracked-In Water

When you walk into the home with snow covering your boots and that water melts, it can cause damage to your floors. The water and chemicals used to melt ice can create stains or cause floorboards to warp. Water can also seep underneath flooring materials to compromise submaterials or create mold or mildew.

Prevention Tip: Create an area by the doors where family members can sit to remove wet shoes and boots. Locate a plastic or rubber tray nearby to capture melting ice.

Icy Walkways

Not only your home can be subject to damage from snow and ice—you can be too. Icy walkways can become slippery and lead to falls and injuries for your family members, guests and service personnel.

Prevention Tip: Shovel fallen snow and ice soon after it falls. Keep walkways clear at all times.


Did you know that a falling icicle can cause a serious injury or even death? Injuries can also be called by snow or ice sliding off a roof. Icicles can also lead to ice dams.

Prevention Tip: When icicles form, brush them away from above doorways and eaves with a long broom or pole.

Burst Water Pipes

When ice freezes inside a water pipe, its expansion can lead to a rupture of that pipe.

Prevention Tip: Turn off outside spigots for winter and drain pipelines and hoses. Wrap exposed pipes in insulation.

What Happens if there is Snow or Ice and I’m Away? That’s where Golden Rule Home Watch Excels.

If you’re worried about what may happen to your home in winter while you’re away for an extended period, there’s no need. That’s why we offer Home Watch services.

With Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge, we care for your home as if it were our own. It’s our job to be your eyes, ears and feet on the ground to look for things like snow and ice problems, and to not only notify you of a potential problem, but to help you take care of any issues as well. If a branch falls, a gutter fails, or your walkways need to be cleared, we have resources to fix whatever issue arises.

We go over your home using our multi-point checklist and send you a report after each visit. Anomalies are also reported and you have the option of allowing us to remediate any issues on your behalf. We’ll line up the service personnel, let them into the home, watch over their work, and report back with photos and descriptions on the results.

Contact Golden Rule Home Watch at 855-928-2424 or through our online form to see how we can protect your home during winter’s snow or ice.