When Winter hits us with a vengeance and brings deep snows, sub-zero temperatures, and icy conditions, there are some things every homeowner needs do to be prepared.
Here is a checklist to help you prepare.
Insulate exposed pipes and spouts
When temperatures drop, pipes can freeze and even burst. One way to help prevent this is to insulate them. For just a few bucks, you can get tubular pipe insulation at Lowe's and wrap your outdoor pipes to help keep them from freezing. Get the self-sealing kind to make it easier.
Another similar consideration is outdoor spouts. You'll want to make sure your garden hose is disconnected from them and then cover them with insulated faucet covers. Again, easily found at Lowe's few a few dollars.
These simple an inexpensive measures will help prevent your pipes from freezing. It also doesn't hurt to keep a small stream of water running in any indoor faucets that are close to exterior walls.
Also, if it gets really cold, open cabinet doors that normally cover pipes. That way warm air from the house can keep them from getting too cold.
Spray your garage door with teflon
Garage doors can sometimes freeze and stick due to ice accumulation at the bottom. You can help prevent this with a can of multi-use teflon spray. This will help prevent ice buildup so your garage door will open and close smoothly.
You'll want to spray the rubber strip that seals the space between the floor and the bottom of your garage door.
Don't forget to take it easy as you shovel snow. Don't over-do it and take plenty of breaks!
Insulate windows with bubble plastic
Lots of heat can escape from windows in your home, especially larger ones. That's why it's a good idea to insulate them with shrink insulation kits. These kits allow you to place a plastic film over your windows and shrink-fit them in place with a hair dryer. The seal creates a pocket of air that helps trap more heat in your home.
Warning: these things are a pain to install (you have to carefully tape the plastic in place) but they do make a big difference.
Apply weather stripping to doors and windows
Add an extra layer of protection from the cold by weather stripping door and window frame.
This is pretty easy to do but can also make a big difference when it comes to how much heat stays in your house.
Stock up on batteries and food
Extreme temperatures and ice storms can often lead to extended power outages so be prepared with plenty of batteries for flashlights. Also stock up on food that doesn't need to be heated up.
Keep plenty of blankets handy and store up water, as well, in the event of a Winter storm.
Stay warm and safe this Winter and keep your home ready to face the elements. Have some tips of your own? Post them in the comments!