“It’s that time of year again. With winter underway, it’s important for homeowners to know how to protect their property from damage that can come with icy temperatures, ” say Ranj Puthran and Allstate Agent.
Today Ranj is here with some timely tips to help you and your home survive.
What should homeowners do to prepare their home for winter weather?
What’s important is preventative maintenance. There are several things homeowners can do around their house to help prevent damage, or at least keep it to a minimum.
The first thing everyone thinks of is frozen pipes. But there’s another issue, called ice dams. These are lumps of ice that form on gutters, eaves and valleys, and prevent melting snow from running down. As the snow melts, the water backs up and seeps under shingles or tiles and eventually inside the home.
What can homeowners do to avoid an ice dam forming on their roof?
- The goal is to keep the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves. You do this by:
- Installing adequate insulation on the attic floor.
- Installing vents that move air upward to a vent at the top of the roof.
- Wrap or insulate all heating ducts in the attic.
- Keep gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and natural debris to help water drain.
What should you do if snow begins to pile up on your roof? Can you leave it there?
You should use a snow rake or soft broom to remove fresh snow from gutters. You don’t want to use sharp tools to remove ice, as this usually ends up causing more damage. Obviously, your safety is most important so avoid getting on the roof or working from a ladder to remove large amounts of snow and ice. You can call a professional to handle that.
Pipes can be a serious issue and cause costly damage. Is there anything you can do to prevent it?
There are a few measures people can take to prevent frozen pipes.
- Disconnect gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
- Keep your house at 68 degrees or higher, even if you’re leaving the house for an extended period of time.
- If it’s bitterly cold, open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
Is there any way to fix a frozen pipe before it bursts?
Yes, there a few things you can try. The easiest is to use a hair dryer to thaw the pipe. Be careful if there is standing water in the area. You can also heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around the cold sections of the pipe. It’s best to start thawing closest to the faucet and be sure the faucet is turned on so the melted water can drip out.
If a pipe does burst, make sure you and your family members know the location of the main water valve so you can turn it off if a pipe bursts.
So, if you were going to recommend one course of action, what would it be?
- Clean out your gutters to help prevent ice dam from forming
- Also make sure you have adequate insulation and venting in the attic
- Purchase a roof rake
Keep your home at 68 degrees throughout the winter, but especially