Guarding Against Winter Wear on the Home

Winter is a time of wonder as the snow sets in, the hot cocoa fills your pantry, and we trade in tennis shoes for boots and wool socks. But winter weather can bring a lot of wear and tear on your home—here are some steps you can take to minimize the damage.

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How to protect your home during winterPrevention is the best medicine, and it’s half the battle in protecting your home against the ravages of snow, ice, and all that’s in-between.

  • The Roof – Inspect your roof and shingles now. Look for leaks, abnormal wear, or other problem indicators and fix them now to avoid a leaky or caved-in roof later in the winter. In addition, be sure you check the beams and trusses in your attic; many times the previous homeowners will have removed pieces of the beams as part of renovations. This is a serious safety concern (especially with all the snow that will be piling up on your roof), so if you find trusses missing—or even pieces of them missing—call in an expert immediately.
  • Branches – Not only can critters use them to gain easier access to your home (and then burrow in through the roof or walls), these branches can become dangerous when weighed down with heavy snowfall. Never mind ruining your perfect garden shed plans, a snow-laden bough can crush cars, crash garages, and possibly even fall on your house! Yikes! So avoid that nightmare now and keep your sheds and Chevys safe by calling a tree surgeon if you suspect some branches my cause problems (a professional will know how to remove the limb without exposing the tree to damage or infections).
  • cracked pipes from freezingPipes – There’s nothing that ruins a month as easily as a cracked pipe and the flooding it can cause in your home. This isn’t as much a problem in warmer climates, but for most homes the worry of pipes freezing is very real. Check pipes for signs of weakness or wear and replace any that are getting too old. Beyond that, unscrew garden hoses from outdoor faucets and wrap exposed pipes in pipe insulation and secure with electrical tape. Foam rubber insulation is a cheap way to repeat this process on indoor pipes, such as those under the sink. Outdoor water systems should be completely winterized. If you’re still worried about indoor pipes freezing, as you should be if the temperature gets below freezing, keep the taps barely running at all times (as running water is harder to freeze).
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Nina Hiatt

Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.