Protect your home from damage during the thaw

Ice dams, broken pipes among concerns

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Just this past Sunday, air temperatures were below zero, but now, they are above freezing, and expected to rise even more as the end of the week arrives.

“The snow melt, combined with the two inches of rain, and then with the ground being frozen, and the water having nowhere to go, you certainly have the perfect storm,” Bill Sweeney, owner of Mr. Home said.

The air temperature was 20 below zero on Sunday, but Friday’s temperatures will be in the 50s. With a temperature swing this drastic, there are things you should do to make sure your home stays protected against the thaw.

“Of course your windows, wall cracks, hatchways, bulkheads, all those types of things are going to be leaking tomorrow in probably a lot of homes,” Sweeney said.

When temperatures rise this quickly after a long, deep freeze, the ground doesn’t have time to thaw out. So when all of this snow melts, it can’t go into the ground. Instead, it may be leaking into your home.

“You might have some gutter damage or you might have ice dam build ups,” JD Rivet Project Manager Ryan Trask said. “If the water gets inside, it saturates your insulation. It’ll stay in that insulation and without being treated mold and mildew will happen.

That’s if the water stays outside…

“When it gets colder the beginning of next week, you’ll have a lot of ice,” Trask said.

If water does get inside your home, it could cost thousands of dollars in repairs in your walls, insulation, attics, and basements.

Experts say get as much snow off of your basement windows, hatchways, and roofs now before the snow melts, so you don’t have to pay the price later.

We have already seen cases this week where pipes have burst as they thawed-out, as was the situation at the TD Bank on Main Street in downtown Greenfield. There are ways to prevent your pipes from bursting, and the first is to make sure that they don’t freeze at all.

Crews cleaning up flooding at TD Bank and auto body repair shop in Greenfield

The American Red Cross says to keep your garage doors closed if there are water supply lines there. You should also open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors, and let the water drip from faucets, so that pipes do not freeze.

If your pipes do freeze and then burst, you may not notice until those pipes thaw again and water begins flowing from the leak; flooding the room and everything in it.