Winter in New England is no joke. Below are severe winter weather preparation steps you can take to ensure your world is protected during a cold snap.
Freezing Pipes & Water Damage Prevention
• Insulate pipes in attics, basements, and along exterior walls. Seal cracks and holes near pipes with insulation or caulking.
• Before the cold weather sets in, check your fuel levels and schedule a refill if needed.
• Locate your water shut-off for ease of accessing in the event of an emergency, such as pipes freezing and bursting. If a pipe does burst, shut your water off immediately and call a qualified plumber.
• If your building has a sprinkler system, ensure it is properly serviced, and consult your sprinkler service contractor for freeze prevention recommendations.
• Open indoor cabinets to increase warm air circulation around pipes.
• Open faucets to allow water to drip or trickle to help prevent pipes from freezing.
• Set your thermostat to a minimum of 60 degrees.
• If pipes do freeze during a cold snap, never use an open flame to thaw pipes. Instead, use a space heater, hair dryer, or other non-open flame methods to warm pipes.
• Business owners, periodically monitor buildings to confirm heating systems are working and prevent issues before they become emergencies.
Snow Load & Ice Dam Prevention
• Remove snow from at least the bottom four feet of your roof as well as around valleys and chimneys. This will help prevent ice dams and water backups. Use a roof rake to safely clear your roof when possible.
• Before shoveling your roof, locate skylights, roof vents, electrical wires, and other hazards, and navigate carefully around these areas when removing snow.
• Before climbing a ladder to clear your roof, confirm the ladder is securely positioned on level ground and away from ice and snow.
• If you must access your roof to clear the snow, consider hiring an insured professional to do the job. If you opt to clear the roof yourself, utilize a safety harness when clearing areas with a steep roof pitch.
Additional Severe Cold Weather Preparation Tips
• Stock up on emergency essentials such as blankets, batteries, power sources for cellphones, flashlights, drinking water, and non-perishable food.
• Confirm your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are battery operated and test to confirm they’re working properly.
• Avoid driving during severe cold weather, but if you must travel, carry an emergency kit with items to keep you warm in the event of a breakdown.
• If you lose power, contain your home’s heat by keeping exterior doors and windows closed and seal any drafts.
• If you need to take your pet outside, only do so for very short periods of time.
• Do not utilize open flame appliances such as a gas oven or portable grill inside your home to produce heat. These appliances produce toxic fumes, including carbon monoxide, and are combustible without proper ventilation.
Winter weather happens, but we can take action to prepare now to protect our family, home and business.