We do not get much cold here in Mississippi, but when we do, it can be brutal. We start by pulling out our winter coats and putting flannel sheets on the bed. While you are busy making your home cozy, do not forget that the cold can do a lot of damage around your house as well.
One of the easiest things to overlook is our water lines. Make sure that any exterior water lines are well insulated. Even those lines that are not outside the home can freeze when the temperature drops. The reason we are told to leave the water dripping is to make room in the pipes for the water to expand as it freezes. If there is no room, the ice in the pipes can cause the pipes to burst. Leaving the water dripping is not a guarantee, but it still a good policy.
Also, insulate your outdoor water hose spigots. There are any number of solutions to protect the spigots. One easy way is to buy faucet covers from most any home improvement store. If you are not sure what you are looking for, ask a salesperson for exterior faucet covers.
Bring your plants inside. Any potted plants that you have decorating your patio or deck should be brought inside to keep the roots from freezing which could kill your plants.
Clean your sidewalks and patios to remove mold and mildew. Mold and mildew on your sidewalks and patios are very slick when they are wet and can be very dangerous. It can be even more dangerous when frozen. Be sure to use a pressure washer or other method of cleaning your sidewalks and patios to make it safer during the winter months.
Replace any worn-out weather stripping. Check the weather stripping around doors and windows and replace any that are torn, dry-rotted, or hanging loose. Weather stripping is not very expensive but can save you a lot of money on your heating expenses.
Be sure you test your smoke alarms and replace any that are not functioning correctly. Whether you have a fireplace or not, you need smoke detectors. Smoke detectors start losing their effectiveness after about eight years, so be sure yours are up to date.
Lastly, to help lower your heating costs, replace any filters. If air cannot flow freely through your unit’s air filters, the system works harder to maintain temperatures. Do not make the system work harder: be sure to replace those filters and save yourself some money.
Most people’s home is their single largest investment and needs to be protected. Make sure to mitigate the damage that cold weather can do and protect yourself from expensive repairs.