Winter Weather: How to Protect Your Home

A winter wonderland can quickly lose its 'wonder' if you experience damage to your home or property from inclement weather. OIP

Here are nine quick tips to save you time, money, and hassle this winter season.

  1. Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  2. Have your home's chimney and heating equipment cleaned and inspected yearly.
  3. Check that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly working and have fresh batteries.
  4. Take the necessary steps to protect pipes from freezing. Insulate all water lines that run by exterior walls and other areas prone to freezing with heat tape, insulation, or newspapers. Also, allowing faucets to drip a little during cold weather can keep them from freezing. Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
  5. Properly insulate your home using storm windows, plastic, weatherstripping, and insulation around windows and doors to eliminate drafts. 
  6. Purchase a power generator or wood-burning stove that can provide backup power in case of an outage. Follow instructions and know how to use it safely. All heating sources should also be installed according to local codes and permit requirements. Fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to prevent carbon monoxide from getting trapped inside the home.
  7. Consider storing sufficient heating fuel, such as firewood or coal. However, be cautious of fire hazards when storing these items.
  8. Winterize any barns, sheds, and structures in addition to your home that may provide shelter for family, neighbors, livestock, or equipment.
  9. Have an emergency preparedness kit on hand for you and your loved ones. You should store one in your home and one in your car. 

*Source JGS