Protect Your Home Against Snow

snow and ice

Protect Your Home Against Snow

Knowing how to remove snow and ice or preventing them from building up on your home is good winter maintenance. Snow and ice can take a toll on home systems and exteriors. If we experience prolonged periods of severely cold weather accompanied by an abundance of ice and snow, it can inflict property damage and create liability issues. Before the weather turns truly frightful outside, it’s a good idea to minimize the risks. These common-sense winter home maintenance tips will prove helpful in preparing your home for whatever the season throws your way.

Protect Your Pipes

We all know that water expands when it freezes. If the water inside your pipes freeze, the pipes can crack and burst, potentially causing major damage. To prevent this, drain any water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems. Also, be sure to disconnect outdoor hoses and cover outdoor faucets with insulators. Also protect any pipes running through unheated interiors – such as garages, attics, or basements – with insulation.

Seal Windows and Doors

The natural gaps that occur around windows and doors can make it difficult to keep your house warm. Using caulk to seal these area, as well as installing weather stripping, can help. This relatively minor and inexpensive fix can help your save a significant amount of money on heating costs.

Clean Out the Gutters to Avoid Ice Dams

An ice dam occurs when ice and snow melts during the day and then refreezes in the evening, becoming trapped in your gutters and clogging them. This situation can force water back up under the roof line and lead to expensive damage to your home. Make sure your gutters are free of all leaves, sticks and other debris that could lead to ice dams.

Keep Your Attic Cool

In addition to clogged gutters, a warm attic can contribute to ice dam damage by causing snow to melt in the middle of your roof and drain toward the gutters where it may refreeze. To keep your attic sufficiently cool, make sure it’s properly ventilated and seal any cracks or holes in your ceiling and around fixtures so that household heat doesn’t seep into the attic. It’s also a good idea to insulate the attic floor to keep inside your home and outside of the attic.

Remove Damaged or Dangerous Tree Branches Hanging Over Your House

Even if they looked sturdy earlier in the year, trees and their branches can be affected by wind, ice and snow. Timely pruning is essential. When stressed, branches can break and fall. When they do, the can damage your home or car, or injure someone standing nearby.

Check Your Heating System

Change your furnace filter at the start of  winter and then check it every two to four months thereafter. Clogged or dirty filters prevent your system from operating efficiently.

When winter comes, be sure to keep your home heated to at least 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls is colder than the walls themselves, and a room temperature lower than 65 degrees might not prevent the pipes house inside them from freezing.

Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney

We all enjoy a flickering fire to warm a winter evening, but before igniting the first log, make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean and free of critters. It’s recommended that vents and fireplaces be inspected once a year for soundness and freedom from deposits. For wood burning fireplaces, call a professional chimney sweep to clean out soot and other debris that could catch fire, and keep the flue closed all the way when you’re not using it.

 

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