Winter Proofing Your Home the Right Way
Winter cold causes a very serious amount of damage to many homes every year, and while people usually consider these damages unavoidable, there are plenty of ways to prevent them.
If you don’t act in time, it can cost you a lot of money both in terms of insurance premiums and bills, even though the majority of these costs could be avoided by good planning and effective preventive measurements in terms of winter proofing your home, not to talk about the inconveniences any minor problem in the heating system can cause, with the worst case scenario of course being left without heating.
Winter proofing your home effectively
1.Walls and exterior
The first and one of the most important measurement you have to make is to make sure that the water from the rain or melting snow doesn’t reach the structure itself by leaking through the exterior sheathing, and if it somehow would, that it will be able to escape from there.
Check around the house for any potential cracks on the walls, especially if you have creeper plants growing up on the walls of your home, as they can cause miniature cracks, which will start to get bigger once the water in them freezes. Pay particular attention to the area of the windows and doors, and keep snow off these areas, since they are the most vulnerable parts of your house.
2. The roof
Check for any loose tiles, and if you find some, replace or repair them as soon as possible. Also take a good look at the guttering, especially at its ends, where the fallen leaves can stock up and block the flow of the water. Remove bigger icicles as frequently as possible.
If you have any trees next to your house, check if their branches pose any threat to the roof should they fall off. Half-frozen raindrops can freeze quickly to form thick layers of ice on trees, and their weight can easily cause the branches to break off. If the tree belongs to your neighbor, you should ask them before starting to sculpture it, in order to keep the relations intact.
If the relations are already a bit off, just chop the branches off, you have every right to do it as long as they are hanging over your territory.
3. Pipes and taps
Maybe the most frequent problem that occurs in the cold months is the freezing of the pipes. Make sure first of all that none of your taps is dripping and that they are joint properly.
Also check the lagging on all of your pipes, especially those which are found in areas that remain unheated during the winter months (the loft is a good example).
Also check if your pipes have any leaks. A particular way of doing this is by turning off all faucets and valves, before checking the water meter (where it indicates how many cubic feet are you at). Wait two or three hours and then check again.
If the number went up, you most definitely have a leak which is not to be taken lightly. Even the smallest leak can turn into Niagara Falls in a blink of an eye, so it is warmly advised that you ask for professional helps should you experience any amount of leakage.
Be prepared for everything
It is important that you know the locations of all taps and valves and pressure regulators, so that in case of emergency, you will be able to turn them off as soon as possible. The worst case scenario is of course if one of the pipes bursts. In this situation, quick reflexes are key. First, stop the flow of water at every possible location, then call a quick, dependable and professional plumber as soon as possible.
Nobody wants his or her home to be soaked in the middle of the winter, especially not by the pipes of the heating system, so it is not a bad idea to ask for professional advice even before the winter kicks in, especially if you haven’t got much experience in dealing with the winters cold as the howl of the wolf.