Winter Weather Home Care

It’s been a rough winter for most of the country, and we’ve got several more weeks to go — and likely more snowstorms, too. Assuming you handled some of the basics before the start of the season, here are some additional steps you can take to keep your home safe from the winter weather.

Keep pipes from freezing

Most cold weather issues pertain to plumbing, and one of the most common problems is frozen pipes, which can leave you without running water — or worse, a hefty repair bill. Proper insulation around the pipes helps to prevent this.

Other simple things you can do to prevent frozen pipes include:

  • Keeping your house properly heated by setting your thermostat to around 55 degrees.
  • Disconnecting water hoses from outdoor faucets.
  • Ensuring exterior doors, like garage and entry doors, remain closed.
  • Opening cabinet doors under sinks to allow heat to get under the sinks and warm pipes.
  • Allowing the faucets inside your house to drip so water continues to flow through them.
  • Installing weather stripping around the doors to keep cold air out and warm air in.

Inspect your roof

Experts say you should take a look at your roof from all angles, because one side might be clear but the other covered in snow drifts.

This is important, particularly if you live in Massachusetts, the epicenter of this season’s roof collapse epidemic. To date, more than 160 roofs have collapsed or faced imminent collapse in this one state alone, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Among the many visual clues that your roof might be straining under the weight of the snow, according to MEMA, are new cracks in walls or beams, sagging roof steel, and bends in metal supports. If you have any concerns, speak with a professional and consider bringing in an inspector.

Remove snow and ice built up against your house

If snow and ice pile up against your house, they could cover your exhaust vents (which can affect the performance of your furnace) and natural gas meter (which could lead to potentially dangerous leaks). Gently brush away the snow with your hands or a broom. If the problem is too severe, contact a service professional or technician for help.

Prevent injuries

Dead or damaged tree branches and limbs could easily break and fall because of ice, snow or wind, potentially damaging your house or car, or even possibly injuring someone walking near your property. Take care of them as soon as possible.


Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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