With the temperatures tumbling by the day, there’s no better time to prepare your home to withstand the winter chill…
Here are 5 common household issues you’re likely to face during the winter and how to prevent them:
Air Leaks and Drafts
Often caused by a lack of proper insulation, air leaks and drafts are common household problems that many can relate to during the colder months.
How to prevent it: Pay attention to the quality of insulation especially around window seals, doors or attics as this is where most of the heat in the house is lost. Sealing your leaks with spray foam, caulk or weather stripping can help with preventing this issue and in return reduce your utility bills.
Heavy rain, snow and cold weather can expose gutter problem areas. Clogs and separation from the roof line being the most typical scenarios.
How to prevent it: Clear your downspouts, troughs and rain chain allowing water to flow quickly which prevents freezing. You can also install heating devices in the gutter troughs which will help in preventing ice dams from forming if you live in colder climates.
One of the biggest causes of burst pipes is cold weather. In fact, the more that pipes are exposed to freezing temperatures, the greater risk they will burst during the winter months. When it gets cold, the water inside the pipes freeze, expand and create extreme pressure — resulting in them bursting.
How to prevent it: In order to prevent burst pipes, make sure you always have the heat on in your home at minimum 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep the water running through/in the pipes from freezing. Also, pay attention to the quality of insulation, especially around those areas where heat escapes quickly.
Because ventilation isn’t as effective in the wintertime, water vapor becomes trapped in the attic and walls. When this water vapor condenses, it can soak into your siding or your outside paint job, causing the paint to peel.
How to prevent it: Peeling paint can be easily prevented with proper insulation, moisture barriers and sufficient ventilation to help reduce condensation. It also may be worth considering paints formulated for cold weather to ensure your walls don’t peel as the temperatures plummet.
Sump Pump Failure
If you live in a rural area or a region prone to flooding, you likely have a sump pump in your house. A sump pump picks up water from your basement and pumps it away from your home’s foundation, usually into a drainage ditch or a storm sewer system, in the event of a flood. During the winter, your sump pump discharge hose — which is outside your home and sometimes above ground — can freeze, making it unusable in the event of a flood.
How to prevent it: Consider buying an extra discharge hose to have as a backup in case your existing hose is frozen or damaged. It’s also important to note that your sump pump relies on electricity to work. In the event of a weather-related power outage, having a battery backup system or generator in place can give you peace of mind that everything is running smoothly.