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Winter Safety for Your Home

Thursday, January 27, 2022   /   by Margie Wright

Winter Safety for Your Home

East Tennessee has seen snow coming in recently, and it's possible we'll see more! January and February tend to be the months that we see the most snow. That means it's crucial to be prepared for the colder weather. With snow and ice, many things can happen and lead to costly disasters. Preparing your home, and you and your family, for these chilly months can make a world of difference. Not only will your home be safer, but so will you. 

1. Winterize Your Pipes
The main concern we see is that of pipes freezing and bursting. Using foam, heating cables, or pipe sleeves can help prevent this from happening by providing extra insulation that keeps the pipes warm. Additionally, seal any cracks in your home's exterior to keep the cold air from getting in. Insulate pipes inside and outside of your home for the best chance against freezing and bursting.

Make sure to drain any outside water hoses and water sprinklers. You can set your hose pipes to drip when you know there will be a particular freezing risk to keep the pressure from building within the pipes. This can also be done for your faucets inside. Just make sure to put down a rag for the indoor faucets to drip onto so you don't have to hear the never ending drip drip drip

2. Inspect Your Roof
Check for loose or missing shingles as well as other damage to your roof. If you see any damage, you will want to get that fixed to prevent your roof from possibly caving in from the weight of snow or water damage as snow melts. While checking the roof, clear any debris you find. Removing the leaves and other debris you find will prevent them from rotting over time and potentially causing more damage.

Make sure to also check chimneys and vent stacks for any cracks, damage, or bad seals. You may be able to repair these issues yourself, but you may also want to consider hiring a professional. Regardless of the fix, make sure that it's fixed! 

3. Prepare for Outages
Snow and ice, especially when extra heavy, can take down power lines and leave you in the cold and dark. Having an emergency kit in your home can help you be better prepared should this happen. Make sure your kit has an emergency radio to be able to stay up to date on the winter weather. It's best to find one that has batteries or a hand crank so that way it can stay charged and ready to use. Look into getting a hand cracked powered cell phone charger so you can keep that charged to get in contact with friends, family, and authorities. Bottled water, non-perishable foods, extra batteries, blankets, and warm clothing are a must to have with the emergency kit. Keep it easily accessible during the peak winter months, and make sure everyone in your home knows where it is in case they need to grab it.

4. Repair Outdoor Lighting
Since it gets dark so early, you'll inevitably find yourself in the dark. Make sure any outdoor lights around your home are working and functional. Consider changing to strong lighting to ensure that your paths are well-lit. Putting a little more money into it, you could get smartbulbs that you can control with your phone. Motion sensor bulbs are also a good option, but they may be a bit harder to use properly since any movement will set them off.

5. Prevent Icicles and Ice Dams
Icicles are gorgeous. They're enchanting and are almost irresistible to be touched. Beware - they can have many risks. They can lead to ice dams which will damage your home and allow water inside as the ice melts. Ice dams also occur when there are air leaks inside your home or inadequate insulation in your attic. Asking a professional to identify problem areas and fix them is your best bet to prevent ice dams from occurring. A professional can also remove problem icicles as safely as possible.

Icicles can be removed by yourself. Keep children away from them and remind them that they can be very dangerous. If you take on the job yourself, make sure to wear eye protection and head protection. 

6. Keep Your Driveway and Walkway Clear
Keep a sturdy shovel and plenty of salt packed away to be able to keep all pathways cleared. It's best to shovel right after it snows so that it can't pack down into ice. Lift with your legs rather than your back, and make sure to push more than lifting. Snow is heavy! Need be, you can carve out a smaller pathway so you're not spending too much time in the chilly air. Take breaks to keep your body from getting too cold and to allow your muscles to relax.

Once you've cleared the snow away, make sure to apply salt liberally. This will keep ice from building up and becoming unmanageable. You may have to apply the rock salt several times, but it's worth it to be able to have a clear pathway and not worry about slipping and sliding as much.

  homes, homeowners, tips, seasonal, winter

Hurst Real Estate and Auction - Margie Wright Property Marketing Group
Margie Wright
221 East Main Street, Suite 103
Morristown, TN 37814

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