7 Ways to Save Your Home from a Winter-Weather Nightmare

With much of the country prepping for dangerously cold temperatures, now’s the time to get your home ready before chilling risks become your worst nightmare. (There’s nothing more fun than ice dams and frozen pipes!)

Before any first-time homeowners begin to panic, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home for the harsh winter conditions. Below are 7 tips on how to avoid costly damage during winter.

  1. Start Outside:

Clean out gutters of all debris and position downspouts away from your home’s foundation. Cut away tree branches that hang over your house. Snow buildup on branches can be heavy and cause them to fall.

  1. Check Your Windows:

Gaps around the window frames and doors can allow air to leak inside, so make sure the weatherstripping is secure. If not, self-sticking weatherstripping is a useful tool for helping windows close more tightly.

  1. Protect Your Water Lines:

Whether your home is an older home or a newer home, you really want to be sure that you are paying attention to your water lines located in the attic or crawl spaces. First-time homeowners should be aware of areas of their piping that can be exposed to harsh winds and cold temperatures. Water lines in crawl spaces should be wrapped in insulation with heat tape. It is also important to be sure that the heat tape is plugged in and working. Some crawl spaces have vents that allow air to circulate within the crawl space, so you’ll want to close these in the winter to protect the water lines from cold drafts.

  1. Reset the Humidity Level:

Use humidifiers with controls to reset the humidity level based on the outside air temperature. This combination will keep frost from forming as the chosen humidity level will be lowered while outside temperatures fall and be restored to normal during less severe weather.

  1. Get Your Faucets Ready:

Allow a small trickle of cold water to run from your faucet. This will keep water moving in your pipe, preventing freezing.

  1. Install a Programmable Thermostat:

A programmable thermostat makes life a little bit easier by allowing you to set your desired temperature and then not have to worry about it anymore. In the winter, a programmable thermostat allows you to save money on your energy bills. Make sure to use energy-saving setbacks and change the temperature by only a degree or two when you do decide to override a setting.

  1. Do a Quick Refrigerator Check:

Set the temperature for energy efficiency. Also make sure to check the rubber door gasket to ensure that there is a tight seal.