How to Protect Your Home from New York Winters
There’s no denying that the wintry conditions of Saratoga, NY can be harsh, with freezing temperatures, high winds, rain and snow. However, by making a few advance preparations, you can protect your home and keep your family safe and comfortable during the winter months.
Here are five ways you can prepare:
Emergency supplies to have on hand – One thing is for sure, Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to build an emergency supply kit. A winter storm can result in road closures, power outages, and even food shortages. Thus, packing a kit for both your car and home is a good idea. Be sure to cover the basics such as, candles, matches, a flashlight and extra batteries, a phone charger, battery or solar radio, blankets, winter clothing, bottled water, non-perishable food, and a first aid kit. Be sure you have an ample supply of water and food for all family members including pets. Additionally, the vehicle kit should include flares, shovel, cat litter or ice melt, ice scraper, gloves, and raingear.
Protect those plumbing pipes – Plumbing systems are rather complex with pipes running throughout your home as well as outside, and when water freezes, it expands which can result in pipes bursting. With just a few proactive, cost-friendly steps you can protect pipes from freezing and prevent costly repairs.
Outdoors: Drain all outside pipes of excess water before winter arrives. This may include winterizing sprinkler systems, disconnecting hoses from exterior spigots, and shutting off valves that won’t be used. Also, any exposed pipes should be wrapped in insulating material designed to protect against the weather.
Indoors: Indoor pipes are also susceptible to rapid temperature changes, especially those located in uninsulated areas, such as a basement or garage. By wrapping the pipes, as well as the hot water heater in adequate insulation, not only will it protect against freezing, you’ll save money on utility bills. If extra cold temperatures are in the weather forecast, allow the faucets to drip slowly and place a small heater on those under cabinet pipes or leave the doors open for improved warm air flow.
Don’t forget the roof –As the inside of your home is heated, that heat rises causing snow and ice to melt on the roof, which often results in ice dams on the lower-lying areas including gutters, eaves, and overhangs. Not only does this ice buildup become heavy over time, it can also cause cracks that compromise the structural integrity of your home. Prior to the arrival of winter, consider cleaning those gutters, sealing roof seams, and adding insulation in the attic to prevent ice dams.
Have tools on hand to clean the driveway and walkway – Snow and ice can be a slippery hazard if not properly cleaned. Invest in a quality snow shovel, de-icing chemicals, and even a product that will provide traction like sand or coarse rock salt. These items will the areas safer to walk and drive on.
Seal the heat in – While winterizing your home, don’t forget to account for areas where heat tends to escape. By sealing any cracks around doors and windows, you’ll prevent drafts and protect your wallet.
Making the necessary preparations to winterize your home can keep your family safe and comfortable as well as save you money.
Whether you already live in the Saratoga area or are considering purchasing a home, we’re here to help.
The Author Adam Clark is the owner and operator of Shield Guard Home Inspections. Adam Clark is a local Home Inspector located in Saratoga NY that has performed over 6000 Inspections
Phone: (518) 720-7152