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Please see below or check categories some great tips and tricks written by Kaela Fox
Winter can be such a wonderful time of year. Hot cocoa, warm sweaters and of course, snow! But as beautiful as Winter is, it can also harbor a multitude of problems and worries.
Pipes bursting, slick walkways, the electric bill on the rise…but that is just part of the season, right? Yes, but there are many things you can do to help alleviate some of these common Winter stresses.
The key to surviving the Winter worries, is active prevention. In this post, we will be going over some of the ways, you can prepare your home, for the most common, cold weather issues.
One of the most important, yet often neglected items to have on hand in the winter months, is a well stocked Winter Survival Kit. The American Red Cross Association recommends the following items.
*Winter Survival Kit*
Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
Food—at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
First aid kit
Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
Sanitation and personal hygiene items
Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
Cell phone with chargers
Family and emergency contact information
Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
Tools/supplies for securing your home
Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves
*Weatherize Your Home*
Weatherstripping is an efficent way, to cut down on your electricity usage and keep the cold at bay. There are a few easy tests, to determine if your home needs weatherstripping.
Check for gaps around the doors and windows of your house, on a windy day, run your hands over the edges, to see if you can feel air coming through. Also, check if you can see light coming through. If you can feel air or see light, weatherstripping is needed.
There are many different weatherstripping materials available, and most are available at your local hardware store. Here are the more popular forms of weatherstripping, that will work well on both windows and doors.
Adhesive backed foam is perhaps the easiest and most inexpensive weatherstripping to use.
Simply apply the strips, to the pane of the window, where the inner frame meets the outer frame. For windows that open horizontally, place the foam strips on the vertical surface where the window closes. The foam will compress when the window shuts and block air infiltration.
For non-sliding doors, adhesive backed foam can be applied to the door stop, which is the narrow piece of wood, that prevents the door from swinging completely through the doorframe.
For the bottom of the door, to seal the gap between the threshold. Use a door sweep, which attaches to the bottom of the door, to create a cushion between the door and threshold.
*Preventing, recognizing and thawing frozen pipes.*
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:
Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following the manufactuars directions.
Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close any valves supplying water to your outdoor hose/s. Open the outside hose valve to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
Check your home for areas, in which pipes are unheated and likely to freeze. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. You can find “hose sleeves” fairly cheap, and newspaper can be used to insulate to some degree.
If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Common places pipes will freeze, include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
To thaw a frozen pipe, keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt the ice.
Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer,or by wrapping pipes with hot towels. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, or cannot reach the frozen area, call a licensed plumber.
Check all the faucets in your home to find out if you have any other frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.
*Preventing Winter Slip Trips*
The best way to prevent slipping on your stairs and walkway, is to apply a skid proof matting. There are quite a few options, for very reasonable prices, available at your local hardware store. The matting will not prevent snow build up, but it will elimenate the beginning slickness. Keep salt and/or cat litter on hand and liberally apply to your steps and pathways.
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks, wishing you a safe and happy winter season.