Winter is coming, and to be honest it's a little overdue. Who knew it would be late January before a substantial amount of snow made its way into our Northern Virginia forecast. But here we are, with winter storm Jonas making its way towards Northern Virginia.
For those of you who followed our Winter Tips blog, you should be more than prepared for the upcoming storm. If you have always been a procrastinator however, here are some things you should do to prepare your home for this snow storm or in the future. These tips were taken directly from Ready.gov, the official website of the Department of Homeland Security.
Winterize Your Home
Things you can do now....
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them.
- House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
- All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
- Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts)
- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
- Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
- Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.