This morning we woke up in Seattle to freezing rain and frozen roads. They are like ice rinks! Homes throughout the region are without power. As we gather for the holidays and the winter weather arrives, I thought this is the prefect day to provide a winter home maintenance checklist.
Keep the heat on
A few years back, a building maintenance person at my former employer took a cost saving measure: they turned off the heat to a building during the annual holiday closure. When business resumed and they went to reopen the building, they found the pipes had frozen and burst, flooding the entire building. Everything was destroyed.
If you're away from home, it's temping to turn down the heat to save energy. But make sure to you heat your house enough to prevent the pipes from freezing. Broken pipes will not save you money! If you've turned it down, leave cupboards under the sinks open. Since snow is forecasted in some areas unaccustomed to freezing temperatures, spread the word.
Prepare for icy conditions
Purchase ice melt and help elderly neighbors keep their walkways safe by clearing snow. (Admittedly, no amount of ice melt will thaw freezing rain.) If you haven't done so already, cover your hose bibs!
Prevent water damage
If you can do so safely, clear snow and ice off flat roof surfaces. You can prevent leaks and water damage to your home by clearing the snow before it melts and pools on your roof.
Your at home checklist
If you lose power, only heat with items intended for indoor use to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Check your fire alarm & carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Locate your fire extinguisher and make sure any guests know where it is too.