“Frozen” is only charming as a movie. This winter, don’t “let it go” — don’t let cheerful movie tunes and apple-cheeked Nordic princesses distract you from winterizing your home properly. There are plenty of easy, inexpensive ways to prevent winter damage. For instance, a burst pipe can cost you upwards of $5,000 in repairs, but pipe insulation costs as little as 50 cents per linear foot.
Here are some tips for keeping your home dry and your checkbook in the black
- Insulate your pipes. You can find inexpensive insulation at any hardware store. In a pinch newspapers or blankets can do the trick.
- Use a space heater. If you have an area of your home that is prone to frozen pipes, run a space heater on the coldest days.
- Let your faucets drip. It might seem wasteful, but pipes with moving water in them are less likely to freeze.
- Disconnect outside water sources. You’re unlikely to need your hose during the winter, so empty it, store it, and turn off the valves that go to outside faucets.
If you’ll be away from home
- Keep cupboard doors open. Open the doors of cupboards that contain pipes so the warm air of the house can reach them.
- Know how to shut off your water. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time in the winter find out where the water shut-off to your home is. And use it.
- Call on a friend. Ask someone you trust to check your home daily if you’ll be gone for more than a few days. If a pipe does burst, the sooner its discovered the better. Thousands of gallons of water could end up in your house if a break goes unnoticed.
For more information
Use this handy checklist or Grinnell Mutual’s Front Porch blog to see what else you should be doing to weatherproof your home for the winter. And for any questions you have, contact us at Forward Mutual.