Winter is officially here. While Texas isn’t known for having the most severe winter weather, there are still hazards to consider. The coldest months of the year often bring an increase in water damage. From freezing temperatures to rain and high winds, make sure your home is prepared to withstand the next storm. ServiceMaster Advantage compiled the following tips to help you avoid the most common winter water damages.
Exposed water pipes are susceptible to freezing especially overnight. Look for these pipes in your basement, attic or crawl spaces. Insulation will not only prevent them from freezing but it will also lower your hot water bill. You can use pipe wrap, spray foam or foam pipe covers to insulate water pipes.
- To apply insulating pipe wrap, start by attaching the pipe wrap to the edge of the exposed pipe.
- If the pipe wrap isn’t self-adhesive, you can duct tape it.
- From there, wrap the insulation around the pipe, making sure to overlap each layer by one-half inch.
- Once you reach the end of the pipe, secure the pipe wrap with duct tape.
An easy way to prevent winter weather from wreaking havoc on your home is to weatherstrip windows and doors. This prevents cold air and moisture from seeping into your home through small cracks and openings. You can find weather stripping at your local home improvement store.
- Start by walking around your home and checking for gaps that cold air and moisture can seep through.
- Choose the type of weather stripping that works best for you.
- Clean and dry the surface.
- Measure your weather stripping and apply.
- Ensure that the weather stripping compresses when the door or window is shut, leaving no gaps.
Rain, ice and high winds can all cause damage to your home. Before the next storm check your roof for missing shingles, cracks around your chimney or any other exterior damage. Don’t forget to maintain your sump pump.
- Remove debris from your sump pump pit
- Perform a test by pouring five gallons of water into the pit. Then observe to see how efficiently your sump pump is working.
- You may have a clog if your sump pump doesn’t remove the water.
- Make sure you replace your sump pump’s backup battery on a regular basis.
Winter weather can cause flooding, icy roads or power outages that might affect your daily routine. Keep some emergency supplies in your home and car just in case you’re stuck for a few hours or even a few days without access to a grocery store or your typical belongings. Your emergency kit should contain:
- Blankets or extra layers of clothing
- Shelf-stable snacks & food
- Flashlight with batteries
ServiceMaster Advantage is your local disaster restoration expert in Harris, Montgomery and Galveston Counties. We hope the tips above help you avoid winter water hazards. Contact us if you experience a fire, smoke or water damage. Homeowners rely on us every day for our full array of services. Our team will repair your property in a timely manner, keep you informed the whole way through and ensure the job is done right.
Photo by: istockphoto.com/Yana Tatevosian