Protect Your Home From Winter Weather

Prolonged, extreme cold weather can be hard on your home. Here are some tips for weathering the winter.

How to Avoid Frozen Pipes

  • Disconnect and drain the garden hoses.Protect Your Home From Winter Weather | Best Choice Home Inspections
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off the water to the outside faucets if you have an interior valve, and open the spigots to allow them to drain.
  • Install freeze proof faucets to protecting your exterior faucets from freezing and bursting.
  • Turn off the sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
  • Cover any foundation vents if you have a crawl space.Protect Your Home From Winter Weather | Best Choice Home Inspections
  • Keep your garage doors closed when they are not in use.
  • Insulate any exposed pipes you may have in your crawl space.
  • Know where your water main shut-off valve is and verify that it is working properly.
  • After the weather has warmed above freezing check your pipes to verify you have no leaks.

How to Keep Your Home Warm

  • Have your furnace cleaned and inspected before cold weather arrives.
    • Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks.
    • Replace your air filter.
    • Verify the thermostat is working properly.
  • Have your fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and inspected before using.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Consider installing energy efficient replacement windows.
  • Remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls.
  • Caulk or seal any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows where necessary.
  • Run ceiling fans on low in reverse so they are pulling air up to circulate the warm air on the ceiling.
  • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
  • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming.
  • Have salt or an ice repellent solution on hand for steps and walkways.Protect Your Home From Winter Weather | Best Choice Home Inspections
  • Check antifreeze levels, freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and the battery condition of your vehicles.
  • Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
  • Make sure your vehicles have plenty of fuel.
  • Drain birdbaths and fountains

How to Stay Safe in an Ice or Snow Storm

  • Have plenty of nonperishable food and water on hand.
  • Refill prescription medications in advance of storm.
  • Charge cell phones.
  • Have flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, and a manual can opener on hand.
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Be sure to have the necessary fuel and oil on hand for equipment you may have such as chain saws, generators, snow blowers, log splitters, etc…

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