Winter Preparations

Is your home ready for winter? Freezing temperatures, ice, snow and wind can cause severe damage to your home and property, especially when they take you by surprise. Follow these helpful tips to assist you in preparing your property for unpredictable winter weather.

Buildup of Ice and Snow on Your Roof

Ice and snow buildup can cause seepage, wall and ceiling cracking and even roof collapses. Safeguard your roof by:

  • Avoiding a warm attic by properly insulating the attic floor. This will also help you save on your heating bills.
  • Providing for continuous ventilation of attic air. Ideally, the attic air should be only five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air.

Frozen Pipes

Much of your plumbing is located in the outer walls of your home, so it is exposed to colder air than your thermostat, resulting in freezing or bursting pipes. Protect your pipes by:

  • Properly insulating unfinished rooms, such as garages, where pipes may be exposed. Consider snap-on insulation for pipes.
  • Draining and shutting off pipes flowing to the outside faucets.
  • Leaving faucets dripping and cabinets open while you are away to expose plumbing to warmer air. Also, have someone check your house regularly to minimize the damage if a pipe does burst.
  • Installing a low temperature alarm if you are away often. These devices activate your alarm system if the home temperature falls below a preset level.

Improperly Used or Poorly Maintained Heating Systems

The improper use or poor maintenance of heating systems such as furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and space heaters can cause fire, puff-backs and smoke damage. Help maintain your heating system by:

  • Servicing furnaces and boilers at least once a year.
  • Keeping plenty of space between space heaters and household objects.
  • Cleaning chimneys and flues periodically.

Next: Protecting My Prized Possessions