Protecting your home from severe cold is vital. Frozen water pipes can burst and flood your house and cause thousands of dollars in damages . If an ice dam forms in your gutter, it could cause water to seep into an interior wall. Winter weather can be rough on a house, take these steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures and water damage.
Protect Your Pipes:
- Before the temperature drops significantly, make sure you drain water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems.
- Protect water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home with insulation.
Insulate Your Windows:
- Add weather stripping along the sides of the sashes.
- Add storm windows and doors. Remove, wash and store screens for the spring before you have them installed.
Clean Gutters, Roof, and Drains:
- Clogged gutters and downspouts are the #1 cause of ice dams. Clean your gutters and downspouts to keep water flowing during the winter.
- Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
- Change your furnace filter at the beginning of the season and then every 2 to 4 months.
- Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney. Prepare your fireplace prior to winter by hiring a professional chimney sweep. Chimney sweeps clear out debris, including soot and creosote that can make for a dangerous situation.
- Bleed valves on any hot-water radiators to increase heating efficiency by releasing air that may be trapped inside.
- Remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulated liners, to prevent drafts.
Drain Your Lawn-Irrigation System:
- Draining sprinkler-system pipes, as with spigots, will help avoid freezing and leaks.
- Weatherize your lawn mower by cleaning off mud, leaves, grass, and debris.