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11 Winter Home Protection Tips: Safeguarding Your Home Against Harsh Elements

In regions with cold winter climates, homes face additional challenges in safeguarding against the harsh elements. Water, especially when it transforms into ice for extended periods, poses significant threats. To help you protect your home from freezing weather and its associated problems, here are 11 recommendations:

  • Guard Your Water Pipes
    • As temperatures drop, safeguard outdoor plumbing fixtures by disconnecting and storing garden hoses.
    • Shut off water to outdoor faucets, drain the lines, and insulate hose bibs.
    • Monitor indoor plumbing pipes running through exterior walls and ensure proper wall insulation.
  • Seal Holes and Cracks
    • Identify and seal entry points for freezing air, such as small holes where cable wires or phone lines enter your home.
    • Utilize foam insulation, weather stripping, or caulking to address cracks around doors and windows.
    • Conduct an annual check for cracks and gaps in the home’s exterior, especially in cold climates.
  • Add Insulation
    • Enhance insulation in exterior walls, crawl space or basement, attic, and consider insulating pipes.
    • Seek in-home energy audits from your local utility company to meet recommended R-values for your region.
  • Keep Water Flowing
    • Allow indoor faucets on poorly insulated exterior walls to drip slowly during extremely cold spells.
    • Open both hot and cold lines slightly for maximum effectiveness, and leave cabinet doors open for additional warmth.
  • Keep the Water Shut-off Accessible
    • Ensure easy access to the main water shut-off valve in case of a frozen or burst water line.
    • Familiarize everyone in your household with the location and operation of the shut-off valve.
  • Locate Your Water Meter
    • Invest in a meter key or keep an adjustable wrench handy to shut off water at the meter if needed.
    • Practice turning the water on and off to be prepared for emergencies.
  • Keep Garage Doors Closed
    • Minimize the time your garage door is open, especially if attached to your home, to prevent cold air infiltration.
  • Clean Gutters
    • Prevent ice formation on the roof by regularly cleaning gutters and using screens or “helmets” to avoid clogs.
  • Check Attic Ventilation
    • Inspect attic ventilation to ensure proper airflow, preventing ice dams on the roof.
  • Maintain Your Thermostat
    • Keep spare batteries on hand to ensure continuous operation of your thermostat.
  • Prepare for Vacation
    • When leaving for extended periods during winter, consider shutting off water and draining the plumbing system.
    • Invest in freeze alarms to monitor temperature and receive alerts in case of dangerous drops.
  • Keep Your Appliances Up to Date
    • Maintain energy efficiency by updating appliances like furnaces, space heaters, and wall heaters.

Taking these steps will contribute to safeguarding your home during freezing weather, ensuring a secure and comfortable living environment.

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