We have 4 tips to help you make sure!
Typical of the weather this time of year, we have sunny clear skies one day, and deep blowing snow the next. It’s been a mild winter so far, but the coldest – and snowiest! – months are ahead of us. Is your home ready?
These tips will help you make sure.
- If you haven’t already, blow out your sprinkler system! It’s not enough to simply turn off your sprinklers and let them drain out. With the temperature swings we experience, it’s not really likely that evaporation will take place in the ground. Many people often just turn off their sprinkler and let it drain out. In that instance, we’re just hoping that evaporation takes place in the ground and cross your fingers that, after the first freeze, nothing happens.
But if any hose or pipe in systems dips a little bit, this creates a place for water to collect and freeze. When even this small amount of water freezes, it expands and can burst the PVC pipe, often in multiple places. Although do-it-yourselfers can use compression machine to blow out their systems, we recommend a professional for best results!
- Don’t update your exterior paint in cold – or hot! – weather! Yes, good exterior paint will help protect your house. And it may be tempting to use cold and clear winter days to paint, but we have one word about that … don’t! Here’s why: the weather may seem clear but temperatures below 50 degrees can actually prevent the paint from adhering properly. (Hot weather causes the paint to dry too quickly.) And although it seems like humidity in winter here is pretty low, keep in mind that any dew or dampness can bubble your surfaces.
Think about the inside, too. There are multiple ways to keep the inside of your home comfortable. To keep the cold out and the warm in, caulk around your windows, replace weather stripping around doors, and consider installing storm doors and windows if you don’t have them. Check out your insulation, which deteriorates over time, so you may want to add more. Treat your water heater right and get a water heater blanket that keeps the tank from losing heat as quickly. And don’t forget to replace your furnace filters so your furnace works more efficiently to keep your family warm and cozy.
- Prevent your indoor pipes from freezing! We like these practical suggestions from Consumer Reports, especially for pipes in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages, But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can and possibly burst when the pipes expand freeze.
Consumer Reports recommends using pipe insulation liberally to protect any vulnerable pipes as well as the following:
- Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
- Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night.
- If you plan to be away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
With these comfy cozy tips for inside and outside your house this winter, we say, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
P.S. Don’t forget to disconnect your garden hose, too. The water that remains within will freeze and could put pressure on your home’s entire plumbing system. The added pressure will then increase the potential for your pipes to either crack or burst, which can be very costly to repair!