The winter season is just around the corner, and homeowners are afraid of the natural disasters they bring. It’s estimated that average temperatures in the country can reach as low as 2.6 Fahrenheit during winter, and there are days when the temperature can drop below zero. With the arrival of winter, homeowners need to take necessary precautions to protect their homes from potential damages caused by extreme weather conditions, especially from an icy blizzard that may come your way.
Icy blizzards are common during the winter season and can cause severe damage to homes. It can be a costly and inconvenient experience for homeowners, but there are ways to prepare for an icy blizzard and minimize its impact on your property. Here are some tips to help you get ready for the upcoming winter season:
Invest in Insurance
Blizzards can cause all sorts of home damage, such as roof damage. Roof damage is a far too common occurrence during an icy blizzard. The weight of the snow combined with the force of the wind can cause significant stress on the structure of your roof, leading to potential leaks, cracks, or even a total collapse. Beyond roof damage, blizzards can instigate other severe forms of home damage.
Structural damage can occur from the sheer weight of accumulated snow on your home, which can strain and potentially warp the foundation. Siding damage can also arise from the high winds and flying ice projectiles. All of these potential damages can be costly to repair, so it’s essential to have insurance coverage in case of a blizzard. Finally, landscaping damage is frequent, with heavy snow and high winds potentially uprooting trees and destroying property. Understanding these potential damages is the first step in protecting your home from the harsh winter weather.
It’s hard to avoid any of these damages. That’s why homeowners insurance is crucial for protecting your home. Ensure you get all the necessary coverage for blizzards before winter. The most essential coverages you’ll need include property damage, personal, and liability coverage. Property damage will help cover the cost of any structural repairs or rebuilding that may be necessary due to a blizzard’s devastation. Personal property coverage can help you replace damaged items inside your home, such as furniture or appliances. Finally, liability coverage protects you from lawsuits if someone is injured on your property during an icy blizzard.
Blizzards are powerful and potentially destructive winter storms that can wreak havoc on your home. It’s crucial to protect yourself and your property from the potential damages caused by blizzards by having proper insurance coverage. The insurance can provide peace of mind and help cover the costs of any damages that may occur
Ensure Proper Insulation
Insulation is a common issue, especially if you have a new home. New homes often struggle with insulation because they may not have been built with the most energy-efficient materials or methods. The construction focus is frequently more on finishing the home quickly rather than ensuring the best insulation. This can result in gaps or inconsistencies in the insulation framework that allow cold air to infiltrate and heat to escape during the winter.
A well-insulated home is essential in keeping the warmth and cold out during blizzards. Proper insulation ensures comfort during a blizzard and contributes significantly to energy efficiency, reducing utility costs. The attic, walls, and basement should be well-insulated, especially as these areas are prone to heat loss. Therefore, as a homeowner, ensuring that your house has adequate insulation before winter is imperative. Seek professional help to assess and upgrade insulation in your new home if necessary.
Insulation is crucial in keeping your home warm and energy-efficient during blizzards. It’s advisable to regularly check and maintain proper insulation in your home, especially before the winter season. This way, you can protect yourself and your property from the damaging effects of blizzards while saving on utility costs. It can also help prevent potential health hazards such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Protect Your Pipes
Another common damage caused by an icy blizzard is frozen pipes. Frozen pipes pose a significant risk to your home for several reasons. When water inside the pipes freezes, it expands, potentially causing the pipes to crack or burst. This can lead to severe water damage in your home, impacting structural integrity and potentially causing mold growth. Moreover, when a pipe freezes, it can block the pathway, preventing water from reaching necessary appliances and fixtures in your home. This can disrupt daily operations, limiting access to essential water services. Additionally, repairing or replacing burst pipes can be expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s crucial to prevent loss during blizzards.
You can protect your pipes from freezing during a blizzard in various ways. One way is to insulate them with heat tape or foam rubber sleeves. You can also use heating cables to wrap around exposed pipes. For further protection, consider installing pipe insulation sleeves in attics, basements, and crawl spaces where pipes are most vulnerable to freezing temperatures. This way, you can maintain the temperature of your pipes and prevent them from freezing. Additionally, during extremely cold weather, letting a small trickle of water run through faucets is advisable to keep water flowing and prevent pipes from freezing.
Clear Snow and Debris From the Roof
Debris, such as leaves, branches, and snow, can accumulate on the roof during a blizzard. This buildup adds weight and strain to your roof, potentially causing damage or collapse. It’s crucial to clear any debris from your roof before and after a blizzard to prevent significant damage. Additionally, snow can cause ice dams to form, leading to water seeping into your home and damaging walls, insulation, and ceilings. Keeping your roof clear of debris can prevent these issues and help maintain the integrity of your home’s structure. One way to do this is through awnings.
Awnings are a cost-effective way to protect your home from the elements. They provide additional protection for windows, doors, and roofs during extreme weather conditions like blizzards. Awnings can also reduce energy costs by providing shade in the summer and insulation in the winter. Consider installing awnings over vulnerable areas of your home to protect them from snow buildup during blizzards. A local awning company can help you determine the best type of awning for your needs and install it properly.
Check Your Gutters
Your gutters can become clogged with debris and freeze during a blizzard, causing water to back up onto your roof and potentially seep into your home. This is especially common if your gutters are connected by grout. Grout is a common home construction and maintenance component, often used to fill the gaps between tiles or reinforce structures.
It’s a versatile, durable material susceptible to damage and wear over time. In regions where blizzards are common, grout can freeze and crack due to the extreme cold, leading to potential structural problems, especially if it’s used to connect your gutter to your home, which can cause water to leak into your walls and foundation. Thankfully, you can hire grout cleaning companies to inspect and repair your grout before the winter season to prevent this issue. They can check for any clogs in your gutters and ensure your grout is in good condition to handle the cold weather.
It’s essential to clean out your gutters before the first snowfall and monitor them throughout the winter months. If water is not flowing freely through your gutters, it may be time to clear any buildup or repair damaged grout. By maintaining your gutters properly, you can prevent potential damage to your home during an icy blizzard and save yourself from costly repairs in the long run.
Keep Your Driveway Salted
Your driveway is a crucial area to maintain during the winter months. It provides necessary vehicle access and provides a pathway for you and your family to safely enter and exit your home. To ensure your driveway remains free of snow and ice, consider salting it before any blizzard or snowstorm hits.
Salt works by lowering the freezing point of water, preventing it from turning into ice. However, be sure to use salt specifically designed for driveways and sidewalks, as regular table salt can potentially damage concrete or asphalt surfaces. It’s also important to monitor salt usage and not over-salt your driveway, as excessive use can harm nearby plants and grass. In addition to salting, regularly shoveling your driveway can also help prevent any snow or ice buildup. However, despite this, your car can still be stuck on your driveway, so be sure to hire heavy duty towing services when this happens. They can help you get your car unstuck and onto the cleared area of your driveway.
Protect Your Plants
An icy blizzard can cause damage to your plants. It can freeze the soil and roots, causing them to die or become vulnerable to disease. To prevent this, consider covering your plants with burlap or other protective material before a blizzard hits. This will help insulate the plants and protect them from extreme temperatures. Additionally, water your plants thoroughly before a heavy snowfall, as this can provide some insulation against the snow. Lastly, consider hiring local landscaping services to help maintain your plants and prevent any potential damage during harsh weather conditions. They can also provide tips and advice on protecting your plants during changing seasons.
Maintain Your Heating
Heating is crucial for any home, especially during a blizzard or harsh winter. It’s essential to service your furnace to ensure they’re functioning properly regularly. Regular maintenance can prevent any unexpected breakdowns during a snowstorm when you need your heater the most. Keep a healthy fuel stock if your heating system uses oil or wood. It’s also a good idea to consider a backup heating system or portable heater in case your primary heating source fails.
Safety is paramount when using heating devices, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and keep flammable materials away. Insulating your home correctly can also help retain heat and reduce energy costs. Lastly, if you encounter any difficulties, don’t hesitate to contact professional heating services to ensure your home stays warm and cozy throughout the winter season.
Have a Backup Generator
An icy blizzard can cause power outages, leaving you without electricity and heat. The lack of electricity during a harsh winter can lead to many difficulties and discomforts. Without power, essential household appliances cease functioning, rendering your refrigerator, cooking appliances, and, most importantly, heating system inoperative. This can plunge your home into freezing temperatures, putting the house’s occupants at risk of hypothermia. Furthermore, navigating your home without lighting can become dangerous, particularly after sunset.
You can deal with this problem by getting a backup generator. It can provide a temporary power source in case of an outage, keeping your home warm and comfortable until the power is restored. However, ensure that it’s installed correctly and safely to avoid potential hazards. It’s also essential to have enough fuel supply for it to function for an extended period.
Prepare Emergency Supplies
Lastly, it’s important to get emergency supplies. In case of a winter storm or power outage, it’s necessary to have basic supplies like non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, and first aid kits. These supplies can help you stay warm and safe until the situation is resolved.
Also, ensure you have enough blankets and warm clothing in case your heating system fails, or you must leave home. It’s also advisable to have a stock of necessary medications and a communication device, such as a battery-powered radio, to stay updated. You should also consider certain products like rolling tobacco to provide warmth and comfort during this challenging time. It can provide a sense of normalcy and relaxation amidst the chaos. However, you mustn’t overuse it and prioritize your health and safety.
An icy blizzard can bring about unexpected challenges, but with proper preparation and precautions, you can minimize the difficulties and discomforts. Stay informed about potential weather hazards in your area and take necessary measures to deal with them. Investing in emergency supplies can make a significant difference to keeping you and your loved ones safe during a winter storm. It’s also important to have insurance for your home to help you pay for unexpected damages. By having these things, you’re prepared for any natural disasters that may come during winter.