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.