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Protecting Your House From The Freezing Weather
If you live somewhere with cold winter months, freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on your home if you aren’t prepared. But there are ways to protect your house from the freezing weather, most of which you can do yourself without the help of a professional.
Protect those Pipes
One of the most common problems during the winter months is bursting pipes. When water freezes in pipes, it causes a buildup of water pressure behind the ice block, which can then cause the pipes to burst, causing a huge mess. To ensure this doesn’t happen, shut off water in places you don’t need it during the winter, such as your hose spigots. Also, insulate spaces where pipes might be in more danger of freezing, such as in your garage or in a crawl space. For pipes that are exposed, you can use a special insulation sleeve that’s specifically made for that purpose.
Prevent Ice Dams
When accumulated snow on your roof melts and refreezes, it can create a buildup of ice at the roof edges called an ice dam. Once an ice dam forms, it can prevent new snow melt from draining off your roof, which can lead your roof to leak. To prevent ice dams, ensure your rain gutters are clear of debris and also clear off any snow or ice that sits at the edges of your roof. You can also help prevent ice dams from inside your home by making sure your attic is well insulated.
Insulate and Seal
The best way to keep all your warm air in your home and lower your heating bill is to eliminate escape routes. That means sealing up all cracks and holes in your home as best you can. Caulk around window seals and use weather stripping on your doors. Fill up all holes and cracks on the outside of homes, including the small holes where cable and phone lines come in. You can use foam insulation or stuff pieces of fiberglass insulation in the holes. Other places you may need to seal up include the areas around your fireplace and chimney and the switch plates for electrical, phone and cable outlets.
Trim Tree Branches
Freezing cold often brings ice and snow, which can cause big problems if you have tree branches overhanging your home, especially if the tree is old and parts of it are dying. Accumulated ice and snow can cause the branches to break and do damage to your roof or other parts of your home. Trim back all branches in the fall to make sure they aren’t a threat to your home.
Protect outside Areas of your Home
Protecting your home from freezing weather doesn’t just mean doing things inside; you want to protect the outside as well. Take in any plants that could be killed by freezing temperatures. Eliminate any standing water, such as the water in birdbaths. You also want to clean up any debris that could act as a snow or ice break. It’s a good idea also to put down ice melt on your sidewalks, driveway and front walk to ensure the safety of anyone walking on those areas.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.