Top 5 Winter Home Tips

Top 5 Winter Home Tips

 

It’s that time of the year again! Just as Jon Snow predicted, winter has come. With the country firmly in the middle of December and heading into the start of the New Year, an ever-increasing soft white blanket rests upon the grounds upon which we all walk. As beautiful as winter may be, though, this is a time of increased risk for home-owners. With that said, here are the top 5 tips for you to effectively winterize your homes!

 

Prepare for the Snow

For all its wonder, snow can be incredibly destructive. Perhaps the most common concern amongst homeowners during the winter is the damage that the sheer weight of immense amounts of snow can cause – especially when that weight is directly on the roof.

In these circumstances, it is important to try to safely get up to the roof and clear as much of the snow as possible. However, more than that, it is crucial to make sure that your home insurance policy covers damage done to the house based on the weight of ice, snow, and sleet. If not, then a claim may be denied.

 

Pipe Protection

No one enjoys a burst pipe – it is one of the many pains of home maintenance during the winter. As the temperature gets colder, the water inside the pipes begins expanding. This, in turn, means that there is an increase in pressure inside the pipe – and once this pressure reaches a certain point, boom goes the pipe.

To counter this, make sure that your pipes have insulation sleeves wrapped around them so that they aren’t as affected by the cold temperature. Moreover, it’s important to let a slow trickle of water every now and again throughout the faucets connected to your main water pipes so that the pressure can be slowly decreased.

 

Environmental Factors

As discussed in a previous post, climate change is far worse than we actually believe it to be. Unfortunately, this means that seasons get more destructive by the year and that can spell disaster for many people. With heavier snowfalls becoming more likely, dead trees are becoming an ever-increasing hazard for homeowners.

Dead trees can crack under the weight of snow and since and fall in dangerous areas – and even if they don’t hit your house or car, they can block pathways and become incredibly irritating. Healthy trees pose a hazard as well so it’s important to make sure that they are trimmed and the risk kept minimal. Make sure to check your coverage to confirm if damage caused by environmental factors is covered.

Interior Protection

Once snow piles up on your roof, the rest of the house becomes at risk for damage as well – especially the interiors walls. We have already seen this year that periods of snowfall can be followed up by periods of relative warmth that allow the snow and ice to melt away; and this can be rather problematic.

The melted snow can seep through the roof and soak into the walls – causing water damage that can be costly and difficult to repair. To try and prevent this, make sure that the roof is insulated and – if there is an attic area – that it is properly ventilated. An extra step can be to install water-repellant membrane underneath the roof covering. Though these steps may come at a short-term cost, they will save a lot of time and money down the road.

 

Circuit Problems

Turning the heating on in the house is the true sign that winter truly is here. We all know that one person who will hold off as long as possible to deny reality but, eventually, we all succumb to it. Portable heaters, electric blankets, electric furnaces – we all have our favourite items to keep us toasty warm. However, this also means that circuits work much harder.

Throwing up the Christmas decorations adds to this as well and, before you know it, your circuits are at max capacity with the real possibility of becoming overloaded. Circuit fires are becoming a real issue for homeowners in the winter – especially with the winter months having record low temperatures. Make sure to have a contingency plan if there is a fire and, upon leaving the house, make sure all non-essential electronics are turned off. Furthermore, make certain you are covered for fire damage.

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