How to Protect Your Home During the Winter MonthsNovember 25, 2014
As the winter season approaches, is your home ready for the onslaught of winter weather? Snow, ice, and frigid temperatures can devastate homes that are ill prepared for winter storms.
The cold season will be here before you know it, so here are five ways to prepare your home:
Home Security Systems
A home alarm system not only protects your home from intruders, but with all of the features security systems offer, you can ensure your home’s heat and fire safety. Most security systems, like ones provided by Protection One, include thermostat control, smoke detectors, and carbon dioxide protectors. As internal furnace issues are still the leading cause of home fires, a security system can alert you when something is amiss with the thermostat and heater.
Homeowners in cold climates should be aware of ice dams, which occur when snow gathers on your roof, begins to melt, and then refreezes, creating a barrier of ice that traps water on top of your roof. The trapped water could potentially seep into your shingles and seams of the roof, creating cracks that could lead to an internal home leak.
To prevent this, homeowners have a few options. One of the leading causes of ice dams is a non-insulated attic. Attics that aren’t properly insulated release a lot of heat, which causes the snow on the roof to melt, thereby creating an ice dam. Insulating the attic properly can keep this problem at bay. You can also rake your roof, or pay a company to do it for you. Lastly, you can install deicing cables on your roof, which in essence are heated wires that will melt the snow.
Wrap pipes to prevent them from freezing. The most important areas are crawlspaces and attics as they usually are the least insulated. You can wrap the pipes in foam rubber sleeves, fiberglass insulation, or heating tape. Additionally, look to seal any drafty areas that are leaking in cold air.
Walkways and Driveways
When a storm is blowing your way, it is a great idea to take precautionary measures by putting out deicing materials on your front porch, outdoor stairs, and walkway to prevent ice from forming.
For driveways, while you can consistently shovel a path, consider replacing the driveway in order to install a snow melting system underneath. By the use of electric cables or hydronic tubes, the ice will melt, leaving you a clear driveway.
It is no secret the winter months wreak havoc on your outdoor plants and flowers. Instead of having to replace them each spring and summer, cover your plants with insulators to protect them during the cold. Laying down mulch or bark is a great option for insulating your plants, but you could also protect them with blankets, tarps, or burlap coverings.
Getting a head start on winterizing your home will help keep it secure throughout the whole season.
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