Cold Weather Guide for Your Home
Living in New England, we're no strangers to cold weather. Extreme weather can wreak havoc on your home and create some real risks. Let's talk about how you can get your home ready for a cold snap.
Inside the Home
As a homeowner, there is a lot to do get the inside of your home ready for the winter season and Abodio can help. But, if you've already prepared your home for winter, here are a few more steps to take when cold temperatures are in the forecast.
Keep your home warm. We recommend keeping your home at a temperature of 65 degrees or higher. Keep in mind that water pipes are inside the walls and they can be much colder than your home temperature. Lower than 65 and those pipes may not stay warm enough.
Locate your main water shutoff. Take a moment to remind yourself of the location of the main water shutoff and familiarize yourself with how it works. You may need to turn the water off quickly and don't want to be figuring it out during an emergency.
Let your faucets drip (slowly). Moving water takes much longer to freeze. Opening your cold and hot water faucets to a slow drip (1 drop every 2 seconds) can keep the water moving through your pipes just enough to help prevent freezing.
Open cabinet doors. Opening your sink cabinet doors can help warm air flow to the water pipes.
Check your other heat sources. If your primary heat source fails, be ready for your secondary heat sources. Make sure fireplaces (if working) are prepped and stocked with wood, check on your electric heaters, and make sure combustible items are cleared from these secondary sources.
Outside the Home
Heavy snow and ice can do considerable damage to your home. Stay ahead of potential dangers when severe weather is on the way.
Keep sidewalks/entrances clear. The last thing you want to do is try to drive to urgent care in the middle of a storm. Keep your entrances and sidewalks clear of snow and ice to prevent slips and falls.
Clear ice dams from downspouts. Ice dams in gutters and downspouts can cause water to build up which can leak into your home. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris so water can run freely while snow and ice is melting.
Keep that garage closed. Garages are typically less insulated than other parts of your home. Try to keep the garage doors closed whenever possible to prevent damage to items in your garage and contain your home's heat.
Clear damaged tree branches. Snow, ice, and wind are the trifecta for falling branches and trees. Check for dead or damaged limbs and remove them, or have them removed, to prevent damage to people and property.
In Case of Emergency
No matter how well you prep, there's always the chance of a problem. Quick action can minimize the impact of these emergencies.
Warm up your pipes. No we're not talking about your singing voice. If your pipes are frozen, don't wait for them to burst. Take measures to thaw them immediately. Turn off the water to the area impacted. Use a space heater, heat lamp, or hair dryer to thaw the frozen length of pipe. NEVER USE AN OPEN FLAME TO THAW PIPES.
If your pipes burst, TURN OFF THE WATER. Luckily you read the tip above and know exactly where the shutoff valve is and it works. Then, attend to the mess afterward.
Properly dry and repair water damage. Water damage can create mold problems. Taking the necessary steps to properly dry and repair damage can prevent future, and potentially more significant, damage down the road.