Protecting Your Home In Winter

Thursday, December 13th 2007, 4:03 pm
By: News 9

You winterize yourself in the winter by bundling up with a coat and gloves, but you also need to winterize your home. A cheap way to winterize your home is a couple tubes of silicone caulk. Polyurethane caulking is good for sealing your home from drafts and leaks. Places to be caulked outside the home include:

  • Around Door And Window Frames
  • Along Siding Joints
  • Plumbing And Furnace Vent Pipes
  • Around The Dryer Vent
  • The TV Antenna Wire Entrance
  • Gutter And Downspout Seams
  • Around Flashing Seams Between Roof And Siding

Another inexpensive heat saver is weather stripping windows and doors. To find out where weather stripping is needed, hold your hand next to the window or door during a windy day. If you feel a draft you should weather strip the area.

A big concern in the winter months is frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can mean big trouble. When the temperatures dip below freezing you should leave your faucets running, but before winter weather strikes you should winterize your pipes with insulation. Some products available at your local home stores include pipe sleeves and heat tape.

Another tip to keep your pipes from freezing is opening the cabinet doors. This will allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing, but make sure you remove any harmful chemicals so that they are out of reach of small children.

If you turn on your faucet and get only a trickle of water, your pipes are probably frozen. To thaw the pipes you will first need to locate the frozen pipe. It will most likely be located on an exterior wall or be where your water service enters the home. To thaw your pipes you should:

•Keep The Faucet Open
As you treat the frozen pipe it will begin to melt and water will begin to flow through    the frozen area. By having the faucet on, the running water will help melt more ice in the pipe.

•Apply Heat To The Frozen Section Of Pipe
You can use an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater or you can wrap a towel that's been soaked in hot water around the pipe.

Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. You should call a plumber if you cannot find the frozen pipe or if you cannot get to the frozen pipe. In addition, keep in mind that if one pipe freezes, others may also freeze.