1. Winterizing Your Sprinkler System
For certain regions of the United States, winterizing the sprinkler sysftem is a very important task. For climates that regularly drop below freezing, and experience seasonally frozen ground, emptying the entire irrigation system can help prevent burst or broken pipes. Seattle Porch professional, Thad Wight of Wight’s Landscaping LLC says “It has to be pretty cold to cause issues around the Seattle area. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Insulate any exposed pipes, exterior faucets, and hose bibs. You can find foam to fit around the specific size pipes at any home and garden store or use old clothes and towels with zip ties or rubber bands to save a few bucks. Make sure to disconnect any garden hoses, drip irrigation, or other forms of water and store away for next year. If you have any fancy or fair weather plants that won’t do well in cold weather either bring them indoors or wrap them in burlap (or more towels). Also make sure all your plants are ready to take on the cold weather and then be healthy enough for spring growth or blooms. Make sure to clean off your roof, gutters, and get all the fallen leafs cleaned up. Frozen leafs are super slippery and messy.”
2. Ice Removal
If you have ice blockage you’ll need to remove as much of the ice as possible prior to the weather warming up. There are many ways to achieve this, all of them fairly difficult and time consuming. One of the best roundups of removal can be seen here at Structure Tech Home Inspection Services. They carefully tested seven different methods of removing ice and noted the pros and cons of all methods. Salt, ice picks and blow torches (yikes!) are all discussed. Be sure to read their pro vs. con list before choosing a method.
A snow- and ice-covered Occidental Park; Photo by: Mahalie Stackpole
If you’ve spent lots of time removing the ice, and you live in a region where this occurs regularly, you may want to invest in heated gutters. Many gutter professionals can advise you more specifically about the types of gutter heaters and you’ll want to have these professionally installed.
4. Invest In Plank Siding: Hire A Pro
Ensure that your home has well-engineered siding can also add to the extra layering of your home, protecting and insulating from drafts and heat loss.
5. Insulate Your Attic: Do It Yourself
Insulating your attic is very important for keeping your home warm. As heat rises, a well-insulated attic will help trap the heat and keep it from escaping. Insulation can be done by the homeowner fairly easily however if you aren’t sure which type to purchase, or simply don’t have the time, be sure to call a professional.
6. Wrap Exposed Pipes: Do It Yourself
Wrapping your exposed pipes, both inside and outside the home, is easy and inexpensive. This time of year pipes freeze causing lots of damage, expense and headache. It’s an easy fix so be sure to check your pipes before the winter frost hits.
7. Set Your Thermostat On A Timer: Do It Yourself
Putting your thermostat on a timer is easy to do and can help save you money. Set the timer so that the thermostat isn’t as high when no one is home and set it for a higher temperature in the evening when people are at home and the outside temperature drops. Additionally, when you leave town for a holiday you can set the timer to keep the home above 55 degrees F, which is the recommended minimum setting for wintertime to prevent pipes from freezing.
By: Anne Reagan