Protect Your Home from Cold-Weather Hazards
Winter is hard on homes. Cold temperatures combined with wind, rain, snow, and ice can cause a myriad of things to go wrong that are both time-consuming and costly to repair. The good news is that keeping your home winter-weather ready involves some fairly simple and easy steps:
- Be sure your thermostat is set to at least 65 degrees to insure that pipes don’t freeze. Have your heating system serviced annually to insure it is in good working order for the duration of the season.
- Check pipes for cracks or leaks. If you find any, have them repaired promptly. Insulating pipes in attics and crawlspaces with fiberglass or foam sleeves can prevent them from freezing.
- Locate your water shut-off valve so you know where to go in event your pipes do freeze. The more quickly you can turn of the water, the better your chances of preventing pipes from bursting.
- It’s a good idea to install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system to protect against pipes bursting. This valve prevents pressure from building up in pipes where the ice forms.
- Having a safe, reliable back-up heat source in case of a power outage is essential. Portable generators are great for this purpose, but be sure to follow safety directions carefully.
- Because the incidence of carbon monoxide poisoning increases in the winter months. Be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector and change the batteries yearly to ensure it is working properly.
- Install extra insulation in attics to prevent ice dams which can lead to flooding. Also be sure crawl spaces, basements, and other unfinished spaces such as garages are also well-insulated to protect pipes from freezing.