Protect Your Home And Property In This Extreme Cold Weather

Dated: 01/31/2014

Views: 3219

So far, this has been a winter we will all remember.  We have not seen temperatures like this for many, many years.  There are a few things you need to think about besides getting frostbite in these temperatures.  Two big things to watch for in this weather are frozen pipes and ice dams.

Here are things you can do now to prevent possible damage to your property:
Frozen Pipes
•    Keep in mind that pipes can freeze anywhere due to exposure from cracks or holes in siding or because of pipes being placed in outside walls with inadequate insulation.
•    Insulate the pipes in your attic and crawl space.
•    Disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets.
•    Seal leaks that allow cold air inside.
•    If you are going away for an extended period of time, be sure to keep the temperature warm enough in your house.  Keep the thermostat set no lower than 55 degrees.
•    When it’s really cold, let the hot and cold faucets drip overnight and open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to uninsulated pipes under sinks on exterior walls.
•    One thing to remember is that a 3/8” crack in a pipe can spray more than 250 gallons of water a day.  This can ruin floors, carpets, furniture and irreplaceable personal belongings very quickly.  
Ice Dams
•    Ice Dams form when the temperature in your attic is above freezing causing snow on the roof to melt and then refreeze in dropping temperatures.  The pools of water behind those dams can cause leakage into your home.
•    Prevent warm, moist downstairs air from getting into the attic by insulating your attic’s floor and using a dehumidifier to control water vapor. Seal all openings that allow vapor to rise into the attic.
•    Do not remove snow from the roof or attempt to “chip away” the ice of an ice dam. It will probably lead to shingle damage.
•    Do not install large mechanical equipment or water heaters in your attic. Not only are they an unwelcome fire hazard; they also increase the temperature in your attic.
•    Do not use salt or calcium chloride to melt snow on your roof. These chemicals are very corrosive and can shorten the life of metal gutters, downspouts, and flashings. Runoff that contains high concentrations of these chemicals can damage your grass and plants.
Hopefully some of the above information will help you avoid cold weather problems at your house.  When Mother Nature gives us weather like we have had this winter, all we can do is try to keep warm and build a really great snowman in the front yard.
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Sam Lepore

Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....

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