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Winter-Proofing 101: How to Brace Your Home for the Winter

12/8/2016 9:51 PM Comments Posted By Floralyn Teodoro
A few weeks from now, the winter solstice will officially start in the US. But besides getting caught up with making snow angels and a snowman, you’ve got to safeguard your home from the perils the cold weather can bring.

Although winter may look magical in photographs, it can bring damages in and out of your beloved home. Besides heaps of snow to shovel, the winter season can also cause other more serious problems such as frozen and burst pipes, electrical outages, flooding, etc.

We often hear Benjamin Franklin’s famous saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure,” right? By preventing the havocs the winter season brings through winter-proofing techniques, you’ll save your home from preventable and expensive house repairs.

With these facts in mind, below are winter-proofing tips to ready your home for the winter season.

Repair and insulate broken windows.

Broken and uninsulated windows can be an entry of the winter draft which often results in higher home heating costs. To keep the warmth in and the cold out, you must properly insulate your windows – your doors, included. You can choose among different types of window insulation solutions like rubber weather sealing, window insulation films, cellular shades, draft snakes, and layered or insulated curtains.

Install insulation sleeves for exposed pipes.

One of the most common problems during the cold season is the occurrence of a burst pipe. Repairing a frozen or burst pipe can be costly. So to avoid winter pipe problems, you should consider and practice installing insulation sleeves in your pipes especially the exposed ones. To protect your pipes from freezing, you can also leave under-the-sink cabinet doors open to expose the pipes to more warm air.

Clear gutters and drains of leaves, etc. Your home’s gutters and drains play huge roles against water damage, so you must always keep them clutter free – especially with the previous season’s fallen leaves. Once clogged, it can retain water which can freeze during the cold weather. Besides clearing out your drains and gutters, including the gulleys, from leaves and other debris, you must also insulate external drain pipes with duct tape or similar material. Always have de-icers and shovels ready. Before the snow season starts, keep plenty of de-icers and shovels ready to easily remove snow and ice especially after heavy snow storms. Being prompt in clearing out snow and ice outside your home while they are still manageable to clear out. Doing this can save you from accidents, city and town fines, and harder-to-clear-out ice dams. With the right equipment and promptness, your home will be winter-proof. Look out for holes, gaps, and cracks. Even the smallest holes, gaps, and cracks attract the entry of leaks, winter draft, etc. that can lead to more serious damages. These minute details must always be checked and repaired immediately. For immediate repairs, you can use an insulating foam as filler. To avoid leaks, use special coatings. The main areas to check for holes, gaps, and cracks include walls, windows, doors, the ceiling, and the roof. Have your heating appliances checked. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), heating equipment is involved in 1 of 6 reported home fires and 1 of 5 home fire deaths. Half of the year’s reported home heating fires occur from December to February – the winter months. To avoid home heating fires, make sure your heating equipment are properly functioning. Apart from that, make sure they’re at least 3 feet away from any heat source like fireplaces. By winter-proofing your home, you’re not only saving it from the perils of winter storms and extreme cold, you’re also saving your budget from avoidable and expensive home repair costs. As the famous line of Ned Stark from Game of Thrones says, “Brace yourself, winter is coming.” So, get your home ready for winter as soon as possible. Don’t get caught unprepared!

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