Preparing and protecting your home for winter is vital. There are many things to take into account: from a frozen water pipe bursting and flooding your basement to an ice dam in your gutter causing water to seep into and saturate an interior wall. Beyond the inconvenience and discomfort of extremely cold weather, severe weather conditions can cause considerable damage. So it’s essential to think about winter preparedness.
Prepare Your Home
Some tips to make your house ready for winter:
- Clean out the gutters.
- Disconnect and drain all outside hoses. Check if your tap is frost-free or not: if the tap has a knob that’s perpendicular to the house, it’s frost-free. The knob turns a long stem that shuts down a valve inside the house.
- Drain sprinkler-system pipes, as with spigots, to avoid freezing and leaks.
- Insulate walls and attics.
- Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, which can actually save a substantial amount on your heating bills without requiring outside help.
- Check your roof for leaks.
- Remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your roof.
- Hire a contractor to check your roof to see if it would sustain the weight of heavy snowfall.
- If your roof is flat and surfaced with asphalt and pebbles, rake or blow off fall leaves and pine needles, which hold moisture.
- Wrap water pipes with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.
- Keep your thermostat above 55 degrees as the temperature inside the walls is colder than in other spaces.
- Avoid ice dams, which can cause meltwater to back up and flow into your house, by identifying and fixing air leaks and inadequate insulation in your home’s attic.
- Insulate water supply pipes that are exposed to exterior walls or unheated spaces as they might freeze, burst, and flood your home
- Consider buying an insulated blanket for your hot water heater.
- Close the flue when you’re not using your fireplace.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through taps connected to pipes that run through unheated and unprotected spaces.
- Leave cabinet doors open for warm air to circulate around pipes, especially those located in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t wait for a winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, such as salt or ice melt.
Keep yourself protected from cold weather and other natural disasters that can affect your family and your home. Call us to learn what damages your homeowner’s insurance covers and how flood insurance can protect your home in the case of a flood.