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As beautiful as snow in Mammoth Lakes is to look at, and as much as we love it for the great skiing it provides, it also has the potential to cause a lot of damage. When the temperatures start to warm up, snow and ice damage can be a real issue. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to minimize damage.

Photos by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth

Turn downspouts away from the house several feet to a well-drained area. A 1,000 square foot roof with just one inch of snow on it can produce 2,500 gallons of water. We typically have heavy, wet snow in the Eastern Sierra, so this is especially important.

If you live in a single family home with a propane tank, before the first storm of the season, mark the tank with a flag, pole or stake so it is easy to locate. After each storm, clear the area around your tank.  

Clear the snow around your basement wall(s). Clearing the two to three feet of space around walls will reduce mold, leaking and flooding issues.

If you own a home in Mammoth Lakes, you don’t have to worry about clearing paths to your mailbox, but if you live in an area with home mail delivery, be sure to keep this clear. Make sure your sidewalks and entryways are clear of snow too.

Make sure your pipes are insulated correctly. Dealing with frozen pipes in the winter is a nightmare! If you’re away from home, be sure to leave your thermostat set to at least 50 degrees. Consider a wifi thermostat so you can monitor interior temperatures when you’re not in the home.

Trim any tree branches away from roofs, homes, sheds and driveways. These can get laden with snow and snap, even if the tree is healthy.

Review your homeowner’s insurance policy with your insurance agent to be clear about flooding issues and protocols if an emergency happens. Your policy might not cover flooding from snow, so you might need an addendum.

Keep gutters clean so that melting snow and ice can flow freely.

Check and repair any handrails leading to the house. Melting ice can cause slips, and having something to grab onto is really helpful.

It’s always best to prevent snow and ice damage instead of having to deal with it once it happens. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Mammoth Lakes homeownership!

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