Winter Weather Survival Guide for Homeowners

Guest Post courtesy of Andrea Davis.

Protecting your home is difficult during winter weather. But there are precautions you can take to safeguard your family and property no matter what winter brings. Here are four tips to keep you safe and warm during the next winter storm.

Suburban home covered in snow

1. Prepare for winter weather ahead of time

Find shutoff valves. Know where your water main shutoff valve is located in case of a burst pipe.

Inspect your home for potential issues. Check for jammed doors and windows and other problems that could worsen during bad weather. Double-checking your home for potential problems prior to a storm will prevent major damage in the future.

Stock up on essentials. Purchase extra food, top off your car’s gas tank, and make sure to have an emergency kit (flashlight, first aid kit, blankets, canned goods) in the event of serious weather related problems.

Consider a home generator. A generator can prevent your food from spoiling and keep you warm when the lights go out. If a home generator is outside of your budget, consider a gas or diesel powered alternative to power essentials, like a space heater or refrigerator.

2. Protect your roof

Invest in a roof rake. Promptly removing snow from your roof will reduce the chances of long-lasting damage. Be careful when using a roof rake, especially if you’re on a ladder. Depending on the circumstances, it’s worthwhile to hire a professional.

Check your roof for signs of storm damage. Look for missing shingles once the snow and ice begin to melt. If damp spots start to appear on your ceiling, call a certified roofing contractor to tackle your leaks.

3. Keep energy costs down

Ask your utility company for an energy audit. An energy audit will identify leaks and other energy wasting problems in your home. Identifying these issues will help you avoid high energy costs during a storm.

Check for cold spots on your windows. If you can feel air moving through your windowpanes, consider a replacement. You don’t want snow or freezing air getting into your home.

Apply fresh sealant around your window frames. Window sealant is easy to apply and inexpensive to buy. Make sure to pick up the sealant and applicator before a storm hits.

4. Make safety a priority

Clear your driveway and walkway of ice and snow. Purchasing a snow blower will dramatically impact the time you spend removing snow. Be sure to clean your sidewalk thoroughly as well.

Be careful when shoveling snow. Consider hiring a professional to plow your driveway and sidewalk. Exhaustion from snow shoveling can be a serious problem.

Watch for patches of ice and areas of refreezing snow when temperatures change. Apply ice melt liberally to provide extra traction and reduce the risk of falls. Be especially cautious when low temperatures freeze standing water and melted snow.

The winter season doesn’t have to take a toll on your home. With the right steps, you can protect your property and your family from the worst winter has to offer.

About the Author
Andrea Davis is an editor for HomeAdvisor, the nation’s largest online home improvement marketplace. Visit HomeAdvisor for design inspiration, budget advice, and access to trusted home service professionals.

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