|The temperatures are dropping all over the country so I thought I would make some reminders on what you should do to make sure your house is safe and sound.
1. Sprinkler Systems can be winterized prior to any cold snaps. If you haven’t done that here are few other tips from the sprinkler manufacturers; disconnect and put away hoses, insulate the pipes managing the controller, turn off an automatic timers, cover the outdoor faucets (also called hose bibs) and blow out the system from any water leftover.
2. Outdoor faucet shut off and drain; shut off the water supply to the outdoor faucets and then go outside and turn the faucet on completely and let the faucet drain completely so there is no water in your pipes that will freeze if temperatures really drop.
3. Seal holes and cracks with silicone caulk. Even small holes where wires and cables enter the home can be an entry point for freezing air. You can use the expanding foam insulation, great stuff, too.
4. Consider adding insulation. If you have a finished basement go downstairs and look at the walls and ceilings. The building inspectors for most counties only require insulation on one wall. The builder can choose the exterior wall or the ceiling. If you have an extremely cold first floor consider insulating the wall that isn’t insulated right now. It will make a difference.
5. Locate your water meter. In case of frozen pipes you want to know where the water meter and the whole house shut off is. You might want to even practice turning the water off with an adjustable wrench so you know how its done. Always practice before the emergency strikes.
6. Keep your garage door closed to keep the cold air from your homes interior walls and the plumbing that is in the garage.
7. Clean your gutters. Full gutters increase the change of ice forming on your roof. This is not something you want to have happen. I would also trim back any tree limbs near your home. If the branches get wet and then freeze you don’t want them to break under the weight onto your roof or power lines.
8. Check the batteries in your thermostats. You don’t want to lose your heat only to find out the batteries in the thermostat died.
9. Bring pets indoors if possible. If your pet spends anytime outdoors in this cold weather it is suggested to have them in a shelter, they can move around in but small enough to keep in body heat. Make sure the structure is elevated off the ground and covered with cedar shaving or straw. Cover the doorway with burlap or very heavy plastic.
10. Keep your temperature at least 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipe are is much colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing.
11. Keep your fireplace flue closed when you are not using it.
12. Run your swimming pool pump at night when the temperatures are expected to go below freezing.
Stay warm and continue to watch the weather for any important updates.