It may be February, but that doesn’t mean the snow has stopped coming down. Winter is still in full swing and any one storm could dump enough snow that you find yourself buried. You might have all of the food and water you need to hunker down, but is your home actually prepared for the danger of a severe winter storm? Here are a few tips to make sure it is:
- Make sure your water heater is in good working order. Cold winter temperatures, especially those related to a winter storm, can cause the water in your plumbing to freeze, expand, and burst the pipes. The best way to make sure this does not happen is to ensure that you have plenty of warm water flowing through your pipes. Before a winter storm hits, make sure your water heater is ready to handle the cold temperatures.
- Caulk the exterior of your windows. Drafty windows are not just annoying—they can create a dangerous situation if you lose power and, therefore, the ability to heat your home during a winter storm. Grab some caulk and fill in any gaps, starting with the exterior and them moving to the interior if you feel like there is still a draft.
- Cut back your trees. Do you have tree limbs hanging over your home or other structures on your property that could possibly break off and damage that structure when laden with snow? If so, before a heavy snowfall is the best time to cut back those limbs. Snow can be surprisingly heavy and the damage that it can do not just to the tree, but to anything that limb and snow fall on could be catastrophic.
- Wrap your exterior pipes. If you have pipes that are exposed to the elements, get a little bit of foam insulation and make sure those pipes are correctly wrapped. This one simple step could prevent a little bit of excess water in that pipe from becoming a serious problem as temperature drop below freezing.
- Clean out your gutters. Wet leaves that hold on to moisture in your gutter can become a hard, expanding blockade when a storm comes, bursting the gutters and leading to expensive repairs. If you haven’t cleaned your gutters out yet, make sure they are clean before a heavy storm is forecast.