Battling Against Freezing Temperatures

The beginning of winter- December 21- is just a few days away. Ohio winters tend to be brutal. Although meteorologists are calling for above average temperatures, we’ve seen that weather can take a turn for the worst in a matter of days. All that time you’ve spent budgeting for the year could be destroyed in the event of winter weather disasters. Before you dig too deep into the Holiday spirit visiting friends and family, take preventative measures around the house. When a winter weather storm hits, you can’t say we didn’t tell you so!

Smoke and Carbon Detectors

It’s not likely to suspect that a lot of fires happen in the winter. It’s cold outside! But that is exactly why the U.S. Fire Administration claims that more structural fires happen in the winter than in any other month.

“In an average year, heating is the cause of 17 percent of structure fires; however, during the winter, heating fires jump to 27 percent of structure fires.”- U.S. Fire Administration

We turn the heat up, get our electric blankets out and prefer to be in front of space heaters during the colder months. While the seasonal fire incident average is lower in the winter, more fires are happening inside buildings. It is important to take good care of all those systems you use to heat your home so they’re not overworked. Make sure that in case of emergency your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order throughout the house.

Service the Furnace

Pro tip: Your furnace should be serviced once a year. Now is the time! To prevent dust from collecting in the furnace’s filter, replace it regularly. Your furnace is the main source of heat in your home and this can likely be a source of a structure fire as mentioned above. If it’s overworked or doesn’t get enough attention, you could fall victim.

Clean out the Gutters

Without the proper clearing of leaves and debris from your gutters, an ice dam can form. An ice dam stays frozen throughout freezing temperatures, but once the weather warms up it can cause water to seep into the cracks of the roof. Not only will it damage the roof itself, but it will redirect the flow of all melting water into those cracks. Water and cracks won’t give you the happy ending you’re looking for at the conclusion of the holiday season. Instead, it’ll leave you with a leaking roof and weak structure over head. A leaking roof is not what you want when you’re expecting guests over to watch the ball drop in a few short weeks.

Check the Pipes for Leaks

You can thank your middle school science teacher for teaching you the most basic lesson about being a homeowner in a winter storm territory. Water expands when it freezes. What we can take away from this lesson is that your pipes will burst if there is a leak or crack in the pipe as the temperatures drop below freezing. Protect those pipes (and your home from thousands of dollars in damages) by:

  • Draining outdoor sources of water like sprinkler systems

  • Protecting the pipes with insulation in areas of the home that are not heated

  • Locating the valve to shut off water in the case of an emergency

  • Keeping your heat at or above 60 degrees while you’re away

Chimney & Fireplace

Being as energy efficient as possible means getting the chimney checked before temperatures drop even lower. If it’s too late to call an expert, put it on your to-do list to check off right as the holiday season ends. Inspecting the chimney will ensure that the flue is completely closed so no cold air is coming in and disturbing your utility bill. While you’re at it, make sure heat isn’t escaping from any doors or windows by sealing them with weather stripping. Minor attention to these details can save you money in the long run.

Protect yourself and your home from the harsh temperatures, icy conditions and chilly drafts that come with a winter spent in Ohio. We at BHHS Professional Realty want you and your family to have a Happy Holidays free of the stress and hassle that come with a winter weather disaster!