Winter in the Hampton Roads area can be brutally cold and staying warm while reducing heating bills can be a challenge. It is also important to prevent damage to your home because of extremely cold temperatures and heavy snowfall. Melting snow, heavy snow, and fires can cause serious damage to your home. The following tips will help you to protect your home during the harsh winter weather.

Ice Dams

The warmer attic roof can cause snow on the roof to melt quickly. It then re-freezes at the edges where it’s much colder. This results in the formation of ice dams. Ice dams can force water beneath the roof covering, which may leak into the attic or trickle down the walls in your home. Preventing ice dams from forming in the first place is essential because safely and effectively removing them is extremely difficult.

Keep Pipes Warm

When cold weather hits, the water in pipes that run through unconditioned areas like the attic, basement or crawl spaces may freeze. Pressure may cause the pipes to burst, and flooding home. Use these winter home protection tips to prevent pipes from freezing and causing severe water damage.

  • Insulate water pipes that run through unconditioned areas like crawl spaces and the attic and basement. Pre-cut foam insulating sleeves make this job easy and inexpensive.
  • Use expandable caulk to seal air leaks around pipes that move through exterior walls to protect the pipes and prevent freezing air from seeping into your home.
  • Open cupboards that house pipes to circulate warm air around them.

During extremely cold weather, turn on the taps and let water slowly trickle out to keep water moving through the pipes. This will help to prevent ice buildup.

Prevent Fires

Schedule maintenance to ensure your furnace operates safely. Overheating due to dust buildup and loosened electrical connections increases your risk for a fire. This also puts your furnace at risk for premature failure. In addition:

  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected before lighting a fire. Creosote buildup, malfunctioning components and chimney damage dramatically increase your risk for a fire. Always use a screen when enjoying a fire, and keep flammable objects well away from the hearth.
  • Use caution when operating a fuel-powered or electric heater. Keep all objects away from the heat source, and never plug an electric heater into an extension cord.
  • Remember to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as needed, and test them regularly to ensure they’re in working order. Make sure you have at least one of each detector on every floor in your home.

For more winter home protection tips, contact Kearney & Sons, Inc. at 757-269-9589. We can provide the right solutions for your home.