Winter Home Prep? It’s Not Too Late!

Winter Home Prep? It’s Not Too Late!


Another fresh blast of arctic air is pushing down through our nation’s midsection, bringing with it some of the coldest air of the year. Snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain is blanketing some areas while other regions are dry, but still very cold.

Likely, over the next several months this scenario will unfold time and again — it is winter and there isn’t much that you can do about it! Except for making sure that your home can withstand the next and subsequent onslaughts.

Winter Prep

Besides insulating windows and doors, there are some other areas of the home needing your attention. These areas include your drainage system (gutters and down spouts) and exposed pipes.

Ice dams can form in gutters and down spouts not properly cleared of other leaves and debris for the winter. Melting snow and ice needs to flow unimpeded; an obstruction can back up and send water into your home.

You’ll also want to minimize the amount of snow on your roof. In areas where snowfall is heavy, the danger of roof damage or collapse is elevated. A roof rake can be used to remove excess snow from your roof with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Frozen Pipes

Homes with basements are not entirely immune from pipes freezing. Connections leading to he outside of your home can freeze, perhaps burst. Wrap pipes with heat tape and check for leaks which should be sealed.

Garden hoses should be drained and disconnected from spigots with connections shut off. Most homes have a switch off valve located inside at the source where the main water line connects with the spigot.

Heat Settings

If you’re planning to spend some time away from your home, set your heat to a lower setting, but not too low where your pipes could freeze and burst. Knowing where the main turn off valve is for your home is important and having a neighbor checking in on your home can help too.

If your pipes do freeze, all is not lost. Use a hair dryer to thaw a frozen pipe, avoiding a torch or open flame which can cause a pipe to burst. Shut off your water if a pipe does burst and call a plumber for help.

Finally, if you incur any damage, contact your home insurer immediately following your call to your plumber. In severe winter conditions your insurer may get many calls, so get your request for assistance in the queue as soon as possible.


City of Renton: Tips to Prevent Freezing Pipes Ice Dams Remodeling Savings Tips

Photo Credit: Piotr Sikora


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Categories: Home Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".