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8 Tips to Protect Your Home this Winter

Freezing weather can cause serious damage to your home. Prepare for cold tempatures with our 8 easy tips.

Freezing temperatures are on the way. Is your home prepped? Follow our 8 easy tips to avoid damage to your home this winter.

1) Prepare your water pipes

To keep outdoor plumbing fixtures from freezing, disconnect and store any garden hoses as the weather begins to turn cold. Then, shut off the water to your outdoor faucets, drain the lines, and insulate the hose bibs.

2) Seal all holes and cracks

Use spray foam insulation, caulking or weather stripping to repair any cracks around your doors and windows. Even the smallest of holes, such as where wires enter your home, can cause indoor heat to escape. Be sure to thoroughly check your home to ensure your home stays properly heated.

3) Clean your gutters

Failing to clean your gutters before winter hits can put your home at risk of damage due to the buildup of snow alongside dead leaves and debris in your drainage systems.

4) Locate your water shut-off

In the event a water line ever freezes and bursts, you will need to shut off the home's water supply immediately. If your belongings are blocking easy access to your main water shut valve off, rearrange your basement or garage so that it will be easily accessible in the event of a plumbing emergency.

5) Keep your heat on

Keeping your house heated helps protect your plumbing! It is wise to set the thermostat no lower than 55°F when you're away. It is also a good idea to check your furnace to ensure it is working properly before cold weather hits.

6) Keep water flowing during freezing weather

If any of your indoor faucets are located on exterior walls that are not adequately insulated, set your faucets to a slow drip whenever temperatures dip well below freezing. This is usually necessary only during especially extremely cold temperatures.

7) Keep your garage doors closed

If your garage is attached to your home, try to avoid keeping your garage open for long periods of time. This will help to keep cold air out of your house and protect plumbing fixtures in your garage - as well as pipes in the shared walls between the house and garage.

8) Prepare for vacation

If you are planning on vacationing this winter, consider shutting off the water to your house and draining your plumbing system, so you won't have to worry about freezing pipes or other plumbing failures while you're gone.

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