Bitter cold weather is coming shortly to the Plains! The Greater Tulsa region is one of Winter’s prime targets. Expect Snow, Ice, freezing temperatures and brutal conditions for you and your home! The damage this kind of weather can bring to your home can be costly. Freezing and burst pipes is one of the big ones that can create a nightmare and thousands of dollars of damage! Below are a few quick tips and suggestions to prepare your home from the costly damage that can happen.
Outdoor Spigots and Garden Hoses
Your garden hoses should be taken inside and the valve (to the line connecting your spigot) turned off inside. Then open the spigot so water can drain out – preventing the faucet from freezing and damaging the line inside the house. Most homes have a shut-off valve somewhere in the line going to the outdoor faucet. Failure to close this valve and open the outdoor faucet can easily mean that the pipe INSIDE your house will freeze and burst. You really don’t need that situation.
Roof – Windows – Doors
First, have a trusted roofer check out the condition of your roof and make any repairs now, before winter hits with a vengeance. Doors and windows should all seal tight when closed. Consider investing in door seals and gaskets, and be sure to seal up (caulk) any gaps – even tiny ones that can allow heat to get out and the bitter cold to get in. Insulation in the attic is certainly important but be sure it’s not wedged in the eaves and soffit area in the attic. There needs to be adequate airflow to prevent mold and ice dams.
Window Air Conditioners
Take them out of the windows. Close the windows tight. Put in the storm glass if you have it. Window AC units left in during the cold weather pull huge amounts of heat out of your house (and let a lot of cold air in). Plus, when they remain in the window, snow can build up on top, potentially pulling the AC unit out of the window, making a worse mess. Often, people leave the window AC in, but it’s a prime source of moisture and cold air infiltration.
Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters are high on the house, especially if you have a two-story home, so this might be a little challenging for some people to get up there. Don’t risk a fall, hire it done! Clogged gutters (and downspouts) mean you are vulnerable to ice dams that can wreak havoc on the interior of your home. Nobody wants backed up water running onto the ceiling or down the inside walls of your home. Don’t forget to check the drainage area to be sure the water is directed away from the foundation.
Furnaces – Boilers – Fireplaces
Plugged chimneys can ruin the inside of your beautiful home with soot. Be sure to have the flue and chimney checked and cleaned. Natural gas and propane fireplaces can put a lethal amount of carbon monoxide into your home if the venting isn’t proper! Many carbon monoxide deaths occur every year from faulty gas and oil-fired heating systems. Spend the $50 or $100 it takes to hire a professional heating company to check, clean, and test your furnace. Aside from protecting lives, no one wants to wake up in the morning to a freezing cold house because the heating system failed. Also, don’t forget to replace the old batteries in all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
We encourage you to leave faucets in your house dripping just a little bit when you know temperatures are going to drop into the single digits and even well below zero. Water moving through the lines can help prevent pipe freeze-ups. When your pipes freeze inside the home, it’s certainly an inconvenience, but worse, when they thaw, they can break – dumping hundreds or thousands of gallons of water into your home!
In Your Yard
Safely store outdoor furniture, toys, tools, out of the brutal winter weather. Be sure that weak and dead tree branches are removed. Trim bushes away from the side of the house and test your snowblower to be sure it will start when you really need it.
There are dozens of additional suggestions we could add, but everyone is busy and won’t read ten pages worth of suggestions. These we listed are some of the most important ones to help you and your home enjoy a more comfortable and safer winter.
Reset Restoration are Tulsa disaster restoration experts in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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