Get Your Home Ready to Handle Freezing Temperatures
Many areas of the U.S. deal with a deep freeze at some point in the winter, and for some it seems like the freeze never ends. These dangerously cold temperatures can cause a variety of problems for homes that are not prepared including various forms of property damage or cold, uncomfortable living conditions within your home. If a deep freeze is headed to your area, it is best to prepare your home to help keep it warm and prevent common damage that can be caused by extremely cold temperatures. While most of the winter prep work should be done in the fall while the weather is nicer, there are still some things you can do during the winter to prepare for an approaching Arctic front.
- Clean the Gutters: Keeping your gutters clear of debris is very important for preventing ice dams. This is usually a job best suited for the fall but if there is a stretch of warmer weather in the winter, it is a good idea to clean the gutters before the next snow or deep freeze. If the gutters are clogged, snow and water will build up in the gutters and the cold temperatures will freeze it causing ice dams that can damage your gutters or roof.
- Insulate Pipes: This is an important step for preventing frozen pipes which can burst and cause severe water damage in your home. Pipes that are in uninsulated areas such as basements, attics, and crawlspaces are at greater risk for freezing and should be insulated to prevent this from happening. The best forms of insulation for your pipes are foam insulation, pipe wrap, or heating tape. Allowing a trickle of water to run through the pipes will also prevent freezing.
- Insulate Windows: Most of the air exchange between the outside and inside of your home happens through the windows and keeping them properly insulated will help you retain the heat and keep out cold air. If you have storm windows, install them in place of your screens to help keep cold air out. If you do not have storm windows, you can use plastic wrap or weather tape to insulate your windows.
- Vents: When the temperature drops, make sure any vents leading to the outside of the house are closed, including the flue of your fireplace. You can also help the circulation of warm air in your home by making sure that nothing is blocking your heating vents and turning ceiling fans on in the opposite direction can also help circulate warm air.
- Stay Warm: Keeping your body warm within your home during periods of extreme cold is important for your comfort and health. Make sure to dress appropriately on cold days and put extra blankets on your bed to stay warmer at night.
If there is a deep freeze coming to your area, make sure to take these precautions to help keep your home warmer in freezing temperatures. Even though your home should be winterized in the fall, many of these tips can be done in the middle of winter in preparation for extremely cold temperatures. If your home sustains damage from the cold temperatures whether it be a burst pipe or roof damage from an ice dam, make sure to contact a restoration professional that can repair and restore water and storm damage.