Record Temperatures in Denver: How Wild Temperature Swings Can Result in Property Damage
The temperature is generally stable depending on the current season, but sometimes wild things can happen with the weather. For instance, the Denver, CO area is expected to get its first September snowfall in 20 years, but after a couple of days with temperatures in the 90s throughout the area.
Labor Day Weekend Temperature Swings
This Labor Day weekend, temperatures are expected to be in the 90s throughout the Denver area on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Friday, the Front Ridge will experience temperatures in the lower 90s and by Saturday and Sunday, some areas including those in the Eastern Plains may even reach 100 degrees. On Monday, the temperatures will drop a little bit back to the lower 90s.
The big swing in temperature will happen Monday night as a 60-degree drop is expected by Tuesday morning as a storm will be coming through the Rocky Mountain region. This storm will include snowfall that is expected to cover the foothills and mountains as well as the Front Ridge urban corridor. This will be wet and heavy snow that can knock over trees and powerlines and result in power outages.
While snow in September is rare in the Denver area, it is not unheard of. September snowfall was quite common in the Denver area but has become rarer in recent decades. The last time it snowed a measurable amount in September in the Denver area is on September 24, 2000, nearly 20 years ago. This will be one of the earliest snowfalls in history for the Denver area.
Water Damage Caused by Snow
There is not much snow expected for Tuesday, but the snow is expected to be wet and heavy and it will likely melt very quickly because the ground and surfaces will be warm from the 90 degree weather the days before. This means that depending on how much snow falls, there is likely to be water damage issues.
Experiencing wet, heavy snow just days after a heat wave with temperatures in the 90s creates a unique situation that puts your home at risk of water damage. The hot temperatures will cause the temperature of your roof and the ground around your home to be warm, which will cause the snow to melt quickly. The water from the melting snow around your home and on your roof can lead to water damage issues through the roof or foundation.
Following these tips will help prevent water damage from the wet snow:
- Remove snow near foundation: Basement flooding is likely to occur if there is an accumulation of melting snow near the foundation of your home. Once the snow falls, remove snow that has accumulated near the foundation.
- Check drainage system: If you have an indoor or outdoor drainage system, check the system for obstructions and ensure that it is open to properly drain the melting snow.
- Check gutters and downspouts: Your gutters and downspouts need to be clear of debris so that the melting snow drains from your roof. If the gutters are clogged, water can pool on your roof and lead to leaks or structural damage. Remove all debris from the gutters and make sure the downspouts drain water far enough away from the home and foundation.
- Check your roof: Before the snow arrives, check your roof for damage or vulnerabilities. If possible, fix minor things like broken shingles before the storms arrive.
- Test sump pump: If you have a sump pump in your home, test it before the storm to ensure it is working. Wet snow on a warm ground is going to make the ground very moist. Your sump pump must be running efficiently to protect your home from flooding.
- Call a water damage professional: If you do notice leaks or water damage in your home from the snow, make sure you call a professional like ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration to provide water damage restoration
Mold Growth from Wet Snow
Where there is water, there is a high possibility of mold growth. The melting snow can raise the risk of mold growth in your home if there is a leak or condensation. Mold spores thrive in moist areas and mold growth uses cellulose which is found in common building materials like wood and drywall as its food source. The surfaces affected by mold are likely to experience serious damage and the presence of mold increases the risk for allergies and other symptoms related to mold exposure.
Mold is actually most likely to appear in homes due to wet winter conditions. Because the snow will likely be melting when it hits the Denver area, it will create a high risk for mold growth. The following tips will help you reduce the risk of mold this weekend.
- Make sure there is adequate circulation through your home. Open a window or use an exhaust fan when showering or cooking.
- Check your windows and doors to make sure they are properly sealed.
- Wipe down condensation on your windows and walls as soon as it appears.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the moisture level in your home below 40 percent.
- Check your kitchen and bathroom for mold regularly. The presence of moisture in these areas makes them vulnerable to mold growth.
- Check for and repair any leaks as quickly as possible.
- If there is any mold growth in your home, call ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration immediately for professional mold remediation.
Structural Damage from Downed Trees and Powerlines
The snow expected in the Denver area is likely to be wet and heavy which can cause some problems. Wet and heavy snow can cause tree branches to break and weigh down powerlines which can lead to power outages. There is also a chance that a downed tree branch or powerline can cause damage to homes and buildings.
The weight of the heavy snow on your roof can also lead to structural damage. Your roof can become stressed under the weight which can damage the roof or supportive structural elements inside your home.
The following tips will help you prevent or minimize structural damage from the storm:
- Remove snow from your roof if it accumulates to 6 inches or more. The best way to do this is with a roof rake that you can use from the ground. It is important to be safe when removing snow from your roof and if there is less than 6 inches, you do not need to do this.
- If possible, trim tree branches that are close to your house, garage, shed, or vehicle to prevent damage from falling branches.
- If a powerline is down, stay clear of it and call the electric company immediately.
Protect Your Property This Labor Day Weekend
Residents of the Denver area are set for a wild Labor Day weekend that will start with a heatwave with temperatures in the 90s and end with snow and temperatures in the 30s. Make sure you follow the tips discussed above the protect your home and lower the risk of damage. If you do find that your home has been damaged, our restoration professionals at ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration are ready to help. We provide complete disaster restoration services for homes and businesses in the Denver, CO metro area as well as Elbert County.