Whether this is or is not the polar vortex, it’s still gonna get cold…Are you ready?
Here are some winterization tips for your home–compliments of FEMA at www.ready.gov/winter-weather–to prevent common cold weather disasters (think frozen or burst water pipes, roof collapse, cold drafts and high utility bills, no heat, etc.):
1) Be Anti-Deferred Maintenance (ADM!). Have your heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year. Umm, this is best done before it gets cold out.
2) Know the workings of it all. In particular, know how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts–because you know if that is going to happen, it will happen at 3:00 A.M. And when is the last time you had to turn off all of the electric (or just specific circuits) in a rush?
3) Make your home a fortress. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out (it ain’t pretty but it works). Make sure walls and attics are insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold if need be (it helps prevent freezing). Hey, here’s a Bonus Tip: How about you take that window AC unit out of the window? And then shut the window? Besides, wouldn’t you rather see a Christmas tree year-round than that? But maybe that’s just me.
4) Good roof, no problems. Clear rain gutters, repair roof leaks, cut away tree branches that could fall on your home during a storm (or over your electric wires or–gasp–the cable line!). You also might consider having a contractor assess your roof to see if it can sustain heavy weight from a lot of snow and ice…