We all know water expands as it freezes. If water inside your pipes freezes, it will expand, too, which can cause your pipes to crack and burst. Pipes also can burst when pressure builds up behind a chunk of ice, which is why it’s a good idea to leave faucets dripping in very cold weather. Either way, a burst pipe can cause massive damage. Take a few steps to winterize your pipes and avoid a potentially catastrophic claim.
- Drain water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems to keep those pipes from freezing.
- Disconnect and store outdoor hoses; cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators.
- Protect water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home with insulation, such as the attic, basement, or garage.
The time to be sure you’re going to stay warm all winter is before the weather gets too cold. Check your furnace by turning on the heat and the blower to be sure they’re operating as they should.
- Change your furnace filter at the start of the season and then every two to four months. Filters get dirty much more quickly if your home is dusty or if you have furry or feathery pets. Clogged or dirty filters are less efficient, which means your home might not warm up properly.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one. Programming it to be cooler at night and when you’re not at home will save you money, and you can program it to be warmer for when you return or get up on cold winter mornings. Check the latest blaux portable ac reviews.
Ice dams form when heat escapes through the roof and melts snow that’s settled there. That snowmelt flows to your roof’s edge and refreezes, usually at the eaves. Those pretty icicles can signal an ugly ice dam underneath. The problem with an ice dam is that snow that later melts can’t properly drain, so it has to go somewhere… and that might be through a leak in your roof, causing water damage in your home.
Fortunately, a few simple steps before the temperature starts to drop can go a long way toward preventing all of this:
- Clogged gutters and downspouts are the No. 1 cause of ice dams. Clean them out to keep water flowing during the winter.
- Seal places that may allow warm air to leak from your home to your attic, such as around vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches, and light fixtures.
- Be sure soffit vents, which are along the eaves of the house and allow air to flow into the attic, are clear.
If you’ve had problems with ice dams before or have reason to suspect you might this year, you can take these additional steps:
- Install snow and ice slides to prevent ice and snow from „bonding“ to your roof.
- Install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles, going three to six feet back from the eaves.
- Hire a roofer to install heat cable along the eaves to melt ice.
- Add additional insulation to your attic floor.
After a summer of yard work, gas-powered equipment such as mowers, trimmers, tillers, and chippers can all benefit from service before being stored for the winter. This basic checklist will get you started on equipment maintenance, but be sure to check the owner’s manual for any specific requirements for your machines.
- Empty all of the fuel. Gas can degrade all the time, and the ethanol in E10 gas can damage fuel lines and other components while sitting unused. Try to use up most of the fuel during the last mowing of the season. You can remove what’s left with a meat baster, then run the engines until they stop. Check with your local waste management or public works department for guidance on how to dispose of the fuel.
- Clean the machine of oil and yard debris, and sharpen the blades.
- Store them for winter in a basement, garage, or covered storage shed where they’re safe from the weather.