Winter comes every year, but still it manages to catch a few homeowners by surprise each time it rolls around. RestorePro Inc gets phone calls from frantic homeowners with burst pipes or leaking roofs throughout the winter and spring. If you don’t get ready for cold weather before the temperatures drop, you are likely to face similar problems. But if you take these 10 tips to heart, you can save both time and money by avoiding common pitfalls of winter weather.

  1. Change Your Car Battery – Older car batteries often can’t keep up in frigid temperatures. Have your battery tested, and replace it if there is any doubt.
  2. Jumper Cables – Make sure you have jumper cables in your car. They can keep you or someone else from being stranded.
  3. Stock Your Car Emergency Kit – Every vehicle should have a basic emergency kit. A blanket, water bottle, first aid kit, and flashlight can come in handy if you are stranded due to icy conditions or car trouble. Depending on your unique needs, you may want to include baby supplies, snacks, or other items.
  4. Furnace Inspection – Have a professional come inspect your furnace before turning it on for the year. In addition to catching fire hazards, they can perform basic maintenance to help it last longer and work more efficiently.
  5. Change Filters – Your ventilation and heating system filters should be changed each fall. This can help reduce fire risk, and also keeps it running smoothly. It also improve indoor air quality, an important concern if you have family members with asthma or allergies.
  6. Ventilation and Space Heater Safety – Many people use space heaters and portable propane heaters to help keep warm during icy weather. They can be handy, but they can also be dangerous. Make sure to only use them in well ventilated areas, and keep them away from curtains, clothing, papers, and other flammable materials. Any portable heater needs to be on a stable surface to prevent it from falling over.
  7. Check Your Alarms – Every home should have a working carbon monoxide detector and smoke or fire alarm. Test them at least once a year. Most fire departments will check them for you if you have any doubt.
  8. Exterior Pipes – Use additional insulation of heat tape to help protect your pipes from freezing. Those in crawl spaces and unfinished basements are vulnerable as well.
  9. Let Faucets Drip – If the temperature is expected to drop well below zero or you’re going to be away overnight, leave your faucets dripping to prevent freeze-up.
  10. Drain Your Plumbing – If you are closing up your home for the season or travelling for an extended time, you can drain your pipes to protect them. This is a good idea even in summer. Turn off the water to your home, then open faucets to let the water drain out.

If you follow these 10 winterization tips, you can avoid a lot of headaches later on. While you still might experience problems from ice, snow, and low temperatures, many can be prevented. Winter is always a busy season for property restoration, but if you need help, the RestorePro Inc team is always available at 1-800-847-0114.