Getting Ready for Winter Storms

The onslaught of winter weather may not have arrived just yet, but it is well on its way in many parts of the U.S. Preparing for cold winter weather is something that should be done before that first snow storm blows through. Properly preparing for winter temperatures and weather involves considering a number of things, from the insulation in your home to the condition of your roof. Preparing for events like power outages is also especially important in the winter. Snow and ice are powerful forces that can cause a lot of damage to homes and businesses. Now is the time to start getting your home ready for winter weather. Here are a few helpful tips.

Have a Plan for Outages

One of the most important things you can do in planning for winter storms is to have a plan for a power outage. Staying warm is the highest priority, but protecting parts of your home that are vulnerable to damage from the cold is also essential. High winds and heavy snow can knock out power to your home, so having a plan to ensure that your home is protected from the cold is important.

Power generators can be a helpful item to have on hand since these can power a supplemental heating device and ensure that you can still run important devices in your home while power is down. Always have extra food and water on hand, as well as blankets, flashlights, and first aid kits. While power outages can typically be corrected quickly, long term outages are not that unusual, so you should be prepared to wait out a storm.

Protect Exposed Pipes

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Freezing pipes are a big problem during the winter. Frozen pipes can easily burst and lead to thousands of dollars in water damage. Pipes that are exposed are the most at right for freezing, so be sure to insulate these pipes and add heat tracing tape along with a reliable power source to prevent freezing. Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed and that attic insulation is in good condition. These things will help retain heat and keep your home a consistent temperature, thereby helping to protect pipes from freezing temperatures. Main sprinkler system lines and other directly exposed outdoor pipes should be insulated first. For indoor pipes, make sure your home temperature is consistently warm and regularly run the water. This is important if you are away from home for a time.

Prepare Your Home’s Exterior

Winter storms can damage your home’s exterior through high winds and heavy snow. In preparation for these storms, trim tree branches and be aware of the potential threat very large trees near the structure can pose. Make sure that your home’s roof is in good condition and have the shingles replaced if needed before snow falls. Repair any damages or leaks at this time as well. In general, make sure that the exterior of your home is in top condition to face harsh winter storms and very cold temperatures. It is always best to deal with these issues during the fall than have a problem under 6 inches of snow and ice.