Still Time To Winterize

Jan 5, 2012

By Holly Anderson, Editor in Chief

The National Weather Service says low snowfall this year is unusual, but not unprecented. One thing is for sure, winter's delay in much of the U.S. have given homeowners an extension when it comes to winterizing.

Take advantage of the warmer days to ensure your home is prepared when the cold weather does strike your area. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Protect Your Pipes:

Pipes located in attics, crawl spaces, basements, and near outer walls can be susceptible to freezing in extreme temperatures. When the forecast calls for unusually cold temperatures, let water drip from hot and cold faucets overnight. Also try keeping cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate in places like below sinks. If you open the cabinet doors, be sure to remove anything inside the cabinets that may pose a safety to hazard to children, such as household cleaners. For exposed pipes in your attic, basement, or crawl spaces, add extra insulation around them. View the tips to avoid frozen pipes for more information.

Be Ready For An Emergency:

Blackouts and snow-ins can occur during winter months, so take a moment to prepare yourself and your family for such emergencies. Having the following items ready will help you make it through safely.

  • Flashlights
  • Bottled water
  • Nonperishable food items
  • Blankets
  • Phone numbers for your utility companies
  • Battery backup to protect your computer and other important electronic equipment
  • First-aid kit
  • If you have an emergency generator, make sure you have gasoline stored and available to fuel it.

Winter Yard Care:

Even with the cold weather conditions, your yard still needs to be maintained. Make sure tree and shrub branches are well away from the house and windows. Icy conditions can cause branches to break and damage your home. Walk around your home and survey the roof to see if any ice dams have formed; call a contractor if you suspect this is the case. As you walk around your house, check the foundation for small cracks or openings where mice or other pests can tunnel in. Winter is when they seek the warmth of your house, so seal up any possible entrances. While you're outside, clear snow off gas meters and away from basement windows and your dryer exhaust vent.

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