Across much of the United States, January and February are the coldest months of the year. In states such as New York, Massachusetts and Illinois, temperatures can drop to below zero and snow fall can be as much as several inches per hour. During these months, use the following tips to help protect your home from precipitation and freezing temperatures:
Warm Up Your Pipes
During the winter months, keep your pipes warm by wrapping insulation around parts of your system that you can reach. Figure out what areas of your home are the coldest and concentrate on dealing with those pipes first. If possible, try to keep a very small amount of water running if the temperature drops below zero. This will help keep the water going.
Keep an Eye on Your Roof
While dry snow rarely causes roof problems, the heavy wet snow that often falls when the temperatures drop fast might accumulate on the top of your home and cause your roof to collapse. Head to your local hardware store and pick up a roof rake. Use the rake to remove any excess snow that starts to buildup.
Keep Your Driveway Clear
Snow accumulation in a driveway is always a major hassle, especially for those who commute in the morning to work. There is no way to prevent snow from falling your driveway, but there are ways it can easily be removed. Shovel most of the snow onto the street and let it melt there. Once you’ve removed the majority of it, grab your bag of salt and spread it over the driveway and let it dissolve the rest of the snow away. Spreading salt in your driveway will also melt any ice that was formed over night. The ice usually melts within a matter of minutes after the distribution of the salt. A snow blower can be especially useful for harsh winters and allow you to clear your driveway in just a few minutes.
Thaw Frozen Pipes Immediately
If you do find one or more of your pipes has frozen over, you must take care of it immediately to avoid costly accidents. The easiest way to thaw your pipes is to use a hair dryer, heat lamps and a portable heater. Place them along your frozen pipes and wait until the water is flowing again. Proper insulation of pipes will help you avoid this type of situation in the future. You should also shut off the water supply to any areas outside where you won’t be using the water during winter.
Monitor Your Drains
During winter months, you must monitor your storm drains at all times. Clogged storm drains will cause an overflow of water and might cause a significant amount of damage if your basement floods or if damage is done to the base of your home.
The best way to avoid any costly problems is to be prepared at all times. Homeowners who perform routine maintenance during the summer and spring months will experience less problems should the temperatures become too cold or a record snowfall occurs. Proper snow removal is also essential to keep your property safe during the winter. Informational credit to Hitch City.