Every year, a lot of homes are damaged because of winter cold. And although people often think about such damages as unavoidable, they can be prevented in many ways. Failing to act in time will cost you plenty of money both when it comes to bills and insurance premiums. But with effective preventive measures and great planning, you can avoid these costs. Below are some tips to winter-proof your house effectively.
Exterior and Walls
It is imperative to ensure the water from the rain or melting snow does not reach your home’s structure through leaks in the exterior sheathing. But in case it would, ensure it can escape from there. Check for wall cracks, especially if your property has creeper plants that grow up on your walls because they can cause miniature cracks that will get bigger when the water in them freezes. Keep an eye on the doors and windows and make sure they are snow-free as they are your home’s most vulnerable parts.
Check for loose tiles and in case you find some, repair or replace them right away. Check the guttering and remove larger icicles. Pay special attention to the end of the guttering where fallen leaves can pile up and block the water’s flow. In case your house has trees next to it, check if the branches pose threats to your roof when they fall off. Know that half-frozen raindrops can quickly freeze to make thick ice layers on trees. Also, their weight can cause tree branches to break off.
Taps and Pipes
Pipe freezing is perhaps the most common issue that takes place in the winter. Ensure none of the taps are joined properly and none of them are dripping. Check the pipes’ lagging, particularly those in areas which remain unheated during the cold months. Additionally, check the pipes for leaks. You can do this by turning the faucets and valves off before you check the water meter. Wait 2 or 3 hours and check again. In case the number has gone up, you certainly have a leak that you must take seriously and you need plumbing services to help you with this. Know that even a small leak can flood your house later so get the leaking solved by only professionals.
Be Ready for Everything
You have to know where your taps and valves as well as pressure regulators are so when an emergency occurs, you can turn them off right away. The worst case scenario is if a pipe bursts. In this case, quick reflexes are essential. Stop the water flow at each potential location then contact a reputable and experienced plumber.
You would not want your house to be soaked in the middle of the cold season, especially not by the heating system’s pipes so it makes sense to try to get advice from professionals even before the start of winter.
Author Bio – Sarah Keller is a home improvement expert. She writes on plumbers and plumbing services in Sydney for a number of blogs.