10 Jan 5 Winter Home Disasters to Avoid
The winter can be harsh and unforgiving for many people. Owning a home can add even more stress to this issue. The winter weather can hurt your home and your wallet if you are not prepared. Here are some ways to be proactive against winter disasters, rather and reactive.
1. Frost Heave
Frost heave is an upwards swelling of soil during freezing conditions caused by an increasing presence of ice as it grows towards the surface. The reason this is so serious is that it can crack your foundation. The biggest factor in causing frost heave are poorly maintained gutters. Clogged gutters or broken gutters will not properly disperse water. The ice grows and puts extreme force on your foundation.
2. Large and Dangerous Icicles
Another issue caused by clogged or broken gutters is the formation of large and dangerous pieces of ice. Icicles can be dangerous, around 15 people in the US die each year due to icicle-related incidents. Besides the risk of injuries and fatalities, large icicles falling with this force can cause significant property damage.
Winter is a notorious time for house fires and it is vital to have working fire alarms around the house to alert everyone, but one of the main culprits is faulty fireplaces. The best way to prevent a disaster is having a professional properly inspect it. If your flue or chimney is blocked by debris or contains cracks or leaks, inadequate venting can occur, and toxic fumes may seep into your home. An inspection lets you know that everything is in safe working order. Always make sure your fireplace is out and cooled before going to bed.
4. Space Heaters
Many people use space heaters in an effort to help cut energy costs. They are an excellent way to warm up cold rooms or provide extra heat. But if they are not used properly they can be hazardous. Never leave a space heater unattended especially around children or pets. Do not place it near drapes, shades, or bedding. Be sure to keep your heater up to date and replace it with a new model if your current one is getting old. Having up-to-date safety features such as tip-over protection is always the best because it will prevent house fires by automatically turning off if it happens to fall over.
5. Frozen Pipes
A pipe that freezes, cracks, then bursts can release hundreds of gallons of water per second and create an expensive home repair. Try wrapping your pipes with inexpensive foam for an at-home easy DIY project. This should be done as preparation before temperatures start to drop. It saves money and time. Another way to prevent freezing pipes is, to keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher.