7 1/2 Things You Need to do Today to Protect Your Home from this Week’s Cold Weather

Protect Your Home from the Cold this Winter

The Pacific Northwest will see its lowest temperatures of the year this week; February is traditionally the month that we experience the coldest days of the year. Here are a few tips to protect your plants and property during the cold snap this week.

1) Insulate your exterior hose bibs.

If you don't have a Styrofoam cap, even wrapping with towels and string or rubber bands will help.

3Rs Pro Tip

Don't wrap hose bibs tightly. The air pockets trapped around the faucet are what provide the insulation value.

1.5) If wrapping your hose's bibs is not an option, you can let them drip or trickle.

This will leave a dangerous icy area around the faucet, so be careful. Moving water is harder to freeze, so the important job of preventing your pipes from freezing is checked off your list.

2) Flip down the covers on your foundation vents or on older homes insert foam covers.

These are usually available at your hardware store.

3Rs Pro Tip

Stuffing old clothes or rags to cover the vents will work in a pinch; even stapling plastic over the opening will give you some protection but this is important… set a reminder to remove them when the temperatures go back above freezing. Your home needs airflow under it to dry out the crawlspace and evaporate the moisture that collects there to prevent mold growth and dry rot problems.

Insulate hose bib outside in cold weather
Foundation Vent Cover & Foam Blocks

3) Cover your flowering plants.

Our unseasonably warm weather has signaled all of our plants and trees to begin to bud and grow. But, unfortunately, the cold weather will damage these daintier parts of the plants. Covering your flowering plants or cherished shrubs with a blanket before sun-down will hold in some of the heat and effectively keep the plants between 4-6 degrees warmer than the air around them.

Cover plants from the cold to protect

4) Remember your pets and other animals.

Pets water bowls will freeze over, and they will need to have that refreshed to keep them hydrated.

3Rs Pro Tip

Putting out fresh water will also provide for wild birds and other creatures. Of course, some are more desirable than others, but most will be happy to drink and move along.

5) Bring your pets indoors if possible.

Or you can provide a covered spot with a windbreak and a heat source.

3Rs Pro Tip

Even a traditional incandescent light bulb will provide enough heat to keep a small area warm.

Keep pets warm in the cold weather
Clear Gutters so Water doesn't Freeze

6) Check your gutters for standing water.

Clear any water in your gutters before it freezes, expands, and does damage to your roof.

7) Lift your windshield wipers off your vehicle's windshield.

This will prevent the rubber from being damaged when you hit the wipers, and they are frozen to the glass.

3Rs Pro Tip

If your pipes do crack or burst, it typically won't show up until a day or two after the temps return to normal, and that can be anything from a slow drip to a full-on gully washer. Typically, these damaged pipes are under the house or in uninsulated exterior walls where you cannot see them. A visual inspection or a thermal scan can give you advance warning of a much bigger problem that is brewing in your future.

Walking around your home listening for water spraying or dripping can also help you find potential problems. Another thing to look for is wet spots in the area around your home or water bills that have gone up significantly. If you be sure all water is turned off and look at your water meter (usually in a vault in the sidewalk and covered with a steel plate) if that meter is spinning or you hear water flowing through it you will want to call 3Rs to stop the flow and help you start your insurance claim.

Call on 3Rs for All Your Insurance Needs

The experts at 3Rs Construction & Remodeling are here to help with any water damage, gutter repairs, or insurance claims due to cold weather. Call us today at (503) 363-1059.

 

 

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