Protect Your Home: Cold Weather Damage

5 Ways To Protect Your House From Cold Weather DamageWater Spigot

1.Outside Spigots – Shut off and bleed.  It’s not enough to turn the faucet off. You have to bleed the pipe of all water by opening the faucet fully after the supply is turned off. This is the most common pipe to burst from freeze up.

2.Main Water Shut-Off and Freeze Alarm Systems – When traveling out of town for more than 24 hours, take precaution. There are a number of steps to follow. 1) Shut off the water in front of the water main and again bleed the system by opening faucets in the home. 2) Install a freeze alarm that will alert you when the temperature of the home drops below a certain temperature. DO NOT SET THE TEMPERATURE BELOW 55 DEGREES.

3.Furnace Maintenance –  It is advised to have your furnace serviced annually. This will not only keep the furnace running efficiently, it will prevent potential “puff back” or furnace fire claims and will improve the indoor air quality inside the home.

4.Check for Insulation Deficiencies – Heat loss through the attic or ceiling can cause the build-up of ice dams which can lead to water intrusion into the home. Proper insulation in the attic can also prevent condensation  which can warp roof decking and also add humidity and water to the attic. Also, check exterior walls with plumbing for adequate insulation and wrap any exposed pipes on exterior walls with pipe wrap or heat tape.

5.Clean your Gutters – Clogged or improperly draining gutter systems are a major contributor to many ice dam claims. When gutters have standing water in them from being unable to drain, they start the ice build up as soon as the freezing weather sets in. Even with the “maintenance free” gutter guard products, your gutters can and do get clogged. Make sure you check them before the freezing weather sets in.