The weather has been fairly mild so far.  But many people vividly remember the bitter cold temperatures that plagued parts of Canada due to the widely discussed polar vortex last year.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility that similar temperatures could impact us again this year. In any case, every homeowner should know about easy fixes that can protect your home from extreme cold temperatures.

Keep That Garage Door Closed

slide2_thumbLeaving your garage door open allows the freezing temperatures to reach any plumbing in your garage, possibly causing frozen pipes. Keeping the garage door closed adds a layer of protection for these important fixtures from the bitter cold.

Protect Your Home: Winterize Your Pipes

slide3_thumbIf you have plumbing that runs through exterior walls or in areas exposed to the cold, wrapping them in insulation or insulating tape is a quick and easy fix that prevents your pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes are a huge inconvenience and a potential disaster should your pipes burst from expanding water.

Make Necessary Roof Repairs

slide1_thumbYour roof is one of the most exposed areas of your home. Unlike siding, however, your roof must withstand snow and ice accumulation, that that it can protect your home. That’s why it’s important to inspect and repair your roof before snowy weather hits. If you’re not able to access your roof physically, hire a contractor to inspect and replace any damaged or missing shingles. You should also repair any gaps in the flashing around vent stacks and chimneys, as these gaps allow snow, ice, and cold temperatures to seep through.

Ventilate Your Attic and Clean Gutters

slide4_thumbReplacing damaged shingles isn’t the only attention your roof needs to prepare for the cold winter months. Your attic and gutters also play a role in preventing ice dams, which are created when melting ice accumulates and blocks water from draining from your roof.

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To prevent this, make sure that your attic is well-ventilated. This keeps your attic at a temperature close to that of the outdoors.  Thus, ice is less likely to melt and then re-freeze near the edge of your roof. You also want to make sure that the floor of your attic is well-insulated, which keeps the cooler air in the attic and the warmer air in the living levels of your home.

To protect your home from the cold winter weather doesn’t have to be costly or even that time-consuming. But when undertaking a home DIY project on your own be sure you’re staying safe. Wear protective gear and follow proper safety protocols for any tools you’re using. And if you start to feel overwhelmed by a project and find you’re in over your head, consider consulting a reliable contractor. Better to get help from a professional and get the job done right the first time! Proactive homeowners who perform these simple fixes will help to prevent damage from winter weather.  As a bonus, you will also conserve energy by reducing heating costs.

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