Shield Your Sanctuary from Winter: 8 Tips to Safeguard Your Home from the Cold
Updated: Jan 16
Due to local weather events, here are some tips from Weather.gov for conserving heat during a winter storm:
If your heat goes out during a winter storm:
▪ Close off unneeded rooms to avoid wasting heat.
▪ Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
▪ Close blinds or curtains to keep in some heat.
▪ Eat and drink. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. -Drinks lots of water and other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration. Cold air is very dry.
▪ Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
Winterizing your home is all about prevention and proactiveness. Preventing ponding water on your roof and in the gutters will protect against potential leaks and silent water damage. Insulating and sealing areas in the home will help lower energy costs. Investing in protecting your home and preparing it for winter prevents potential long term damage and expensive repairs.
In this article we’ve collected 8 key tips for the best ways to guard your home against winter weather hazards.
Reverse your ceiling fans:
In the winter, ceiling fans should flow clockwise. This forces the warm air that rises up down to our level. Set the fan to run at a low speed in a clockwise direction. This gentle rotation will still help redistribute warm air without creating a noticeable draft.
Insulate and seal your windows and doors:
Maintaining weatherstripping around doors and windows and insulating any drafty windows will help keep warm air inside, reducing energy costs.
Weatherstripping seals gaps and prevents drafts, helping to maintain a consistent indoor temperature, and a more comfortable environment.
Have your chimney inspected and cleaned:
Be sure any debris like bird nests are cleared from your flue and that your chimney is ready for warm fires. Over time, creosote, a highly flammable substance, can build up inside a chimney. Regular cleaning and maintenance removes this buildup reducing the risk of chimney fires. This also prolongs the lifespan of your chimney, and reduces carbon monoxide exposure.
Photo By Horjaroul - Pixabay
Check your attic ventilation:
Attic ventilation helps prevent snow and ice buildup on your roof, leading to water damage. Proper ventilation ensures that the temperature in the attic remains consistent with the outside temperature. Consistency in temperature helps control moisture levels in the attic, reducing the risk of mold and mildew growth.
Ensure gutters are clear and clean:
Gutters that are clogged can cause water to pool on roofs, which freezes in cold enough temperatures. When the water melts, it can seep through cracks or openings causing gradual silent water damage to your home. Freezing water in gutters can also create blocks called ice dams. The blockages can extend onto the roof, potentially causing damage to shingles, underlayment, and other roofing materials. Regular maintenance and cleaning is key to ensuring the proper functioning of your gutter system throughout the year.
Insulate or wrap your pipes:
Insulating pipes that are exposed to the outdoor will help prevent them from freezing, bursting, and flooding, leading to costly repairs. Pay special attention to areas where pipes are most vulnerable, such as near exterior walls, in crawl spaces, or in unheated areas. Additionally, consider using insulated pipe sleeves for added protection.
Photo By Miranda Landstra/City of Lee's Summit MO - provided by houselogic.com
Use a hose bib/faucet cover:
Cover hoses, spouts & outdoor faucets: Just like insulating pipes, covering outdoor faucets can help prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting. Another step to prevent damage is disconnecting and draining garden hoses. Leaving water in hoses can cause the connected outdoor faucets and pipes to freeze. Covers or bibs can be found online or in some department & hardware stores.
Know where your water shut off is:
Knowing the location of your water shut-off valve is crucial for home maintenance and emergencies. Knowing how to shut off the water quickly can help prevent further damage from a leak or burst pipe. In an emergency you must know how to shut your water off to minimize damage if possible.
These tips will contribute to ensuring a secure winter for your home. Neglecting proper care during the winter season can lead to lasting damage with potential long-term consequences. Implementing these preventative measures will fortify your home, ensuring its safety and resilience even during the most challenging Tennessee winter storms.