November 01, 2017
How To Winterize Your Home
Winter is a time of family, high spirits, and holiday cheer. It’s the season we look forward to all year long. A time when we bundle up with loved ones next to a cozy fire and share precious moments. Yet despite these wonderful things, winter can wreak havoc on your home. Naturally, Texans often underestimate winters which is why it’s even more important to be mindful of the ways to protect your home from the cold and prepare for severe ice storms.
Protect your pipes
As you may know, water expands when frozen and may end up bursting pipes if you’re not careful. To avoid costly damage, we recommend taking several preventative measures to insulate and drain your home’s pipes. Make sure to always have faucets dripping during freezing weather and make an effort to wrap exposed pipes with proper insulation materials or plastic and newspaper. It’s also a good idea to remove standing water in outside hoses and sprinkler systems. The last thing you want are pipes bursting from pressure behind blockages of ice.
Check your heat & insulate your attic
Before the storm hits, before it even gets cold, it’s a good idea to make sure your heating system is up to par. This can be done by thoroughly testing it and making sure the furnace’s blower is in working order. It’s also a good idea to change its filter. A dirty filter will make your system less efficient and work harder to warm up your home. We also highly recommend making sure your walls and attic are properly insulated. Weather-stripping and caulking doors and windows are also great ways to keep the heat in.
Ice dams in your gutters can be detrimental to your home since they’re capable of causing a great deal of flood damage. Heat under your home’s roof can melt snow and when the water trickles down to a blocked gutter, it can eventually find its way into the house. Before things get out of hand, make an effort to clear out all of the dead leaves and debris in your gutters. You can also prevent ice from melting on your roof by properly sealing up areas around chimneys, vent pipes, and exhaust fans.
3 key ways to prepare for an ice storm
Ice storms in Texas are not as rare as you might think. From Dallas’ wild winter weather to fierce storms in the panhandle, severe cold weather can and will hit when you least expect it. To protect your family and limit damages to your home, here are the three most important things everyone should take care of before one hits.
Have the essentials
Keep in mind you may be without power for several days, so it’s vital to gather these key items before the storm rolls in. Every family’s needs will be different, but here are the major things every home should have.
- Non-perishable food
- Battery-operated radio
- Phone charger
- Fire extinguisher
- Medical essentials and needed prescriptions
- Backup power solutions for medical equipment, phones, etc.
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Exposure to a carbon monoxide leak can be fatal for your family. It’s odorless, tasteless, and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Before the storm, install several battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home, especially near bedrooms. This will ensure you and your family can be alarmed in time to exit the home.
A few odds and ends
Ice storms are furious acts of nature and can expose your home to a wide variety of dangers. To ensure your family and property are safe during the storm, try to take care of these important tasks as soon as possible. We also recommend regularly having them done in the autumn of each year.
- Repair leaks on the roof
- Clear rain gutters
- Have heating equipment and chimneys maintained and inspected by a professional
- Insulate water pipes
- Cut down branches close to your home