The South and Southwest will enjoy above-average temperatures this February, but average temperatures are expected to remain in the 10s to the 30s in the Boston area. Low and freezing temperatures can bring seasonal risks to home owners, from slippery walkways to frozen pipes to pest infestations. Here’s a checklist of some important precautions to take to ensure your home is set for the rest of the winter.
Keep Pathways and Trees Clear
Snow and ice can cover your walkways and trees, presenting hazards for people and homes. Make sure you shovel regularly after snowfalls. Set up flags on the boundaries of walkways and driveways so you know where to stop shoveling when clearing deep snow. Learn about Hanover seal coating to keep your residential driveway in good condition. Stock up on salt early so you’re prepared to take care of slippery spots. If you plan to go on vacation, hire someone to shovel and spread salt for you.
Fallen snow can bend and break tree branches, a potential hazard if a branch lands on your roof or car. Brush branches off with a broom after snowfalls. Avoid shaking them, which can cause breaks.
Avoid Ice Dam Leaks
Ice on edges of roofs can back up melting snow, forming ice dams and threatening to cause leaks and damage your roof. If you don’t know were the leak is coming from get a plumber to come out for Leak Detection and Repair. The best way to avoid ice dams is to keep your entire roof a uniform temperature so that ice doesn’t form on the edges alone, according to the Rooftop Chimney And Roof Services.
You can keep your roof an even temperature by taking a few steps:
- Install a ridge vent
- Cap your attic hatch
- Make sure all your vents lead outdoors through the roof and walls and not through your attic’s soffit vents
- Insulate your attic
- Install sealed can lights
- Seal and insulate ducts
- Seal around cables and vents
- Install flashing between chimneys and house framing
In addition, get a gutter cleaner and roof rake so you can keep gutters clear and remove snow after storms. Roofing Houston will provide efficient roofing service and quality affordable replacement.
Maintain Your Insulation, Heating and Fireplaces
Keeping warm is a top priority in cold weather. Keep the cold out by checking caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows and cracks in your foundation. Keep heating running smoothly by keeping PVC vent pipes clear of snow, changing furnace air filters regularly, cleaning oil-heated furnaces and boilers once a year and cleaning gas-heated furnaces every three years. If you have a fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to clean it.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Burst water pipes can be expensive. Prevent frozen pipes by insulating them, disconnecting your hose from your outdoor faucet and setting the heat to at least 55 degrees if you’re away. If your pipes are particularly prone to freezing, leaving faucets open slightly so water can drip will keep the water running.
If you do find a tap that suggests a frozen pipe, first check all your other taps to see if any only come out as a drip, indicating you have more than one frozen pipe. Turn on the frozen tap, and use a heating source such as a hairdryer or space heater to unfreeze the pipe. If you can’t get at the pipe, call a plumber. Also check for drainage blockages and call a blocked drain plumbing company if necessary.
Monitor Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries
In winter, closed windows and running fireplaces and wood-burning stoves increase the importance of maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure to check the batteries for your devices at least once a month, changing them as necessary.
Keep Critters Outside
During cold months, pests such as insects, rodents and snakes may migrate into your home or garage. Discourage unwelcome guests by sealing cracks and holes in your foundation and around pipes, sealing flues and chimneys, repairing screens on windows and attic vents and sealing doors with weatherstripping and door sweeps. Automotive Locksmith Roseville CA will provide prompt, professional service. Prevent damp spots from attracting pests by sealing leaky pipes and turning on basement dehumidifier. If you do need to get rid of pests, hire a licensed and insured professional service that uses humane disposal methods.