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Preparing for the Winter Storm

We are in the midst of cold weather season, and the Carolinas have already seen their fair share of snow. When we hear a storm is coming, many of us immediately know how to prepare: trip to the grocery story, purchasing battery-powered flashlights and testing your back-up heating source. We prepare our families and ourselves for the winter weather, but what about out home?

Here are some key steps to take to winterize your home just days before the storm hits:

  1. Check Insulation: Have your attic professionally insulation and checked again at the start of cold weather season. These proactive measures will help prevent ice damming (when an excess of ice melts and creates a pool of what that seeps beneath shingles and down walls). Major water damage can occur as a result of poor insulation.
  2. Check ductwork: You’ll also want to check your ductwork to make sure the insulation prevents hot, moist air blowing into your attic from your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room. It is extremely important to regulate the temperature in your attic.
  3. Check ventilation: Consult a building professional to make sure your attire is properly ventilated. The goal is to have warm air escape and cool air flow through to keep the temperature in your attic only 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.
  4. Install snow shield: If you are in an area where snow and ice storms are frequent, you may want to have snow shields installed. This waterproof shield extends from the low edge of the roof to at least three feet inside the exterior wall of your house. Snow shields help prevent leaks
  5. Install gutter screens: Gutter screens not only keep debris out, but also can prevent damage to your gutters. You still need to periodically clean the gutter out, so when snow is melting, your gutters will be in much better shape if they are free of debris.
  6. Prepare exposed pipes: Wrap exposed pipes with heat tape of thermostatically-controlled heat cables. You’ll also want to ensure rooms where exposed pipes are located are properly insulated, like your garage or crawl spaces.
  7. Check for air leaks: Seal leaks in pipes with caulk or insulation. You also may want to install a leak dictation and water shutoff system if you have had problems in the past.

We should take care to properly prepare for winter weather – from our family’s safety to preparing our homes and cars. A little work on the front end can help you avoid major damage after the storm hits!