We all know that heavy snow affects travelling to work or school, making roads dangerous and keeping a lot of us at home...but have you thought of the damage that heavy snow could be doing to your property?

In the UK properties are normally designed to cope with the weight of snow, but you should still be vigilant, especially with deep snow, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Check for unusual sounds

  • Creaking type sounds could indicate distress on your property and you should contact your insurance company or seek professional advice.
  • Rooves of out-buildings, barns and conservatories may not be as strong as your main building – look out for bowing or unusual creaking noises, and stay out of those areas as much as possible.
  • Sounds of water or dripping may indicate damaged or burst pipes, our article on burst pipes will help to know what to do in this situation.

Check your roof void

  • If your property has no under felt below the tiles or slates it’s possible that snow could build up inside and cause damage to the loft and ceilings below.
  • Always make sure to have someone else present if checking the loft, and if there are any wiring or electrics that could be affected leave well alone and call a professional to check for you.

Electricity

  • If you think that any electrics or wiring may have become wet from the snow, turn off the electricity supply at the fusebox.
  • Switches or sockets that have become wet can be dangerous – call a professional electrician and DO NOT TOUCH!

Prevention

To prevent the snow damaging your buildings you can warm them to attempt to melt the snow from the roof – for example opening a loft hatch or heating a conservatory or porch can melt the snow. Just make sure nobody stands underneath an area where snow could fall off in large amounts.

For low buildings it may be possible to rake the snow from the roof to lessen the weight, but only if it is safe to do so, and if you have another person around to help you.

You can also avoid damage to pipes by reading our article on preventing frozen pipes.