It's Time to Winterize Your Home
Winterize Your Home
As temperatures are now cooler, have you taken the opportunity to make sure your home is effectively winterized? Winterization is not only the process of preparing and protecting a home or building from potentially freezing temperatures but also protecting it from the effects that such freezing temperatures could have including pipe bursts and water damage. Most structures are built to withstand the typical temperatures in which they reside. However, cold temperatures over a while can still test the ability to withstand such elements.
Make sure you’ve completed these quick and easy recommendations to prevent a temperature-related disaster.
- Turn up the inside heat temperature by a few degrees. Even though this may raise your utility bill a few dollars, it will save you the potentially large expense of disaster recovery.
- If the weather is calling for freezing temperatures, be sure to turn any sink, bath, and outside faucets to a drip to prevent them from freezing.
- Also if there is going to be freezing temperatures, open cabinets underneath sinks so that the heat can keep the pipes warm. You can also wrap your pipes in insulation for an extra measure of protection.
- Whether your home or business is occupied or empty, never completely turn off the heat. To prevent freezing or other damage, buildings need to be at least 55 degrees even if they are empty.
- If your home or business is in an older building, there is an increased risk of air drafts that allows the cold temperatures to enter. Be sure to block such drafts. Plastic winter insulation kits are available for drafty windows. Caulk or weather stripping can also help with drafts.
- Make sure that your vents can flow freely without being blocked by furniture or any other obstruction.
- Change your filters if needed to ensure your heat is working properly. Heat that is working improperly can be a risk for fire, carbon monoxide, and more.
- Make sure your fans are reversed to a clockwise rotation for them to rotate the warm air towards the ceiling downward and into the room.
- Be sure your gutters are free of leaves and any other blockages. Otherwise, excess water can freeze and cause unwanted damage to your property including water falling down the side of the house and saturating the ground around your foundation, along the walls, and in your basement. Also, Ice dams could cause major water damage to your roof, siding, and inside your walls.
- Replace any loose shingles on your roof. If the roof is exposed to rain or snow, your home is subject to water damage.
By taking these measures now, your property will be winter-ready for the elements of the season before disaster strikes.
However, should you suffer damages, we are available 24/7 - Call us at 704-393-7890.
House covered in scarf and toboggan
Holiday Home Safety
Be safe during the holidays.
The holidays are in full swing, but before your family rolls into town, is your home really holiday ready when it comes to fire and electrical safety? The National Fire Protection Association claims that electrical issues are responsible for one in three Christmas fires. You can prevent your home from being a statistic by following these easy recommendations before the weekend.
- Double check your lights. In fact, look over each string for signs of damage including a frayed cord, defective or rusted sockets, detached connections or exposed wires. If your bulbs need to be replaced, be sure to use the same voltage in order to reduce any risk of the bulbs overheating, melting or sparking and causing a fire. If possible, be sure to use light strands that are UL listed.
- Limit the number of connected strands. Be sure not to attach more than three strings together at one time or the chances of fire will increase.
- Pay attention to location. One cause of Christmas tree fires is when a tree is located too close to a heat source such as a heat vent, fireplace, wood stove, furnace or candle(s). Make sure your tree is at least three feet from any heat source. In addition, make sure your tree is not blocking an exit in your home.
- Water daily. Be sure to water your tree daily, and take it down once it begins to dry out.
- Know your chimney health. If you are not certain of the safety of your chimney, it is better not to burn a fire. A nice alternative is to light candles inside the fireplace or cover logs with a safe strand of lights (see recommendations above) for a festive effect.
- Open the flue. Before starting a fire, be sure that you have opened the flue to the chimney.
- Remove potential fire hazards. Also before starting a fire, make sure to remove any greenery from the mantle or from around the fireplace.
- Use a screen. A screen will eliminate flying embers which could potentially start a fire or cause injury to a loved one or pet.
- Throw away wrapping paper. Reduce the urge to throw wrapping paper into the fire as it can cause an unexpected flash fire. It is better to dispose of the wrapping paper in a proper trash bag or can.
By paying attention to these few extra details right now, you will ensure nothing steals the magic of the season for you and your loved ones.
All of us at SERVPRO of NW Charlotte wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. Remember that in the event of an emergency, call us 24/7 at (704) 393-7890.
Get Your Home Winter-Ready
Get Your Charlotte Home Winter-Ready
For those who live in the Charlotte area where weather events are typically mild, winter isn’t a season as much as it is a time for celebration. But friendly forecasts aside, as we move into the coldest months of the year, the city will still get its fair share of precipitation - whether it’s rain, snow, sleet or hail.
We’ll also experience a fluctuation in temperatures and an increase in days that dip into the low 30s and even below freezing - making it critical to get your home winter-ready. After a snow or ice storm, our restoration specialists see the aftermath firsthand: water damage caused by a burst pipe, gaping roof holes from falling trees, mold infestations in fireplaces, and smoke damage from a Christmas tree that went up in flames.
With so many North Carolinians spending more time at home than ever, we want to help you and family stay safe and warm, as well as protect your home from damage (both inside and out) all winter long. Just as Santa knows well the value of making a list and checking it twice, so should homeowners. The time to start winterizing is now - before the first storm or harsh weather event hits. Fortunately, you can DIY most of these home protection recommendations.
Indoor winterization tips
- Use pipe foam to insulate your pipes, especially those warm to the touch.
- Check and repair any attic, garage or shed leaks.
- Seal any water pipe or hose leaks.
- Be sure the temperature hot water tank is set safely, and clean your dryer vents.
- Seal the top of your fireplace if you don’t plan to use it during the winter.
- Change the batteries on any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the equipment is working correctly.
- Replace filters throughout your house and open heating system vents.
- Flush your water heater to let any sediment run out.
- Install window insulation film and weather-stripping tape around doors and windows. For a quick fix, use a rolled-up towel or blanket to keep under door drafts at bay.
Outdoor winterization tips
- Clean your downspouts and gutters of any debris, twigs, leaves, nuts or rocks so ice can’t build up and clog them.
- Trim tree limbs around your home. When weighed down from wet snow or an ice storm, they can break or fall, causing damage to your roof, home, car or fence.
- Fill any siding and window cracks or gaps with caulk.
- Take out any window AC units and remove any debris, branches or leaves around your air conditioner condenser.
- Drain and disconnect hoses and turn off your sprinklers. If your pipes aren’t frost-proof, turn off the water valve by the spigot.
- Move outdoor furniture, grills and propane tanks away from the elements, or wrap them in tarps and bungee cords to keep them secure outside.
- Remove any moss or vegetation from your roof.
24/7 water damage and restoration assistance
American travel writer Paul Theroux said, “Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” Unfortunately, sometimes preparedness is still no match for Mother Nature’s wrath or other cleaning or restoration emergencies. If that happens, you can rest assured our team is just a phone call away.
Although SERVPRO of NW Charlotte, Lincoln County, Southern and NE Gaston is part of a national network of 1,700-plus franchises, we’re locally owned and operated and part of the Mecklenburg, Lincoln, and Gaston communities. Our water damage and restoration experts are employees, not contractors, which means our team can respond faster to emergencies with a proven water damage restoration process and the most advanced technology and equipment. For questions, contact us anytime at (704) 393-7890 or request help online.
Spring Cleaning Outside
SPRING CLEANING OUTSIDE
When making your spring cleaning list, remember your home's exterior. A few hours of attention could save you a bundle in unexpected repairs.
Roof & Chimney
Examine your roof for cracked or missing shingles and damaged flashing around vents and chimneys. Check chimney caps and roof vents for bird nests and debris.
Gutters & Downspouts
Clogged gutters lead to rainwater back up and rot under shingles, waterfalls that cause window leaks and pools that drain into your crawl or basement and soften soil around tree roots causing them to fall. Consider installing gutter screening and downspout extensions.
Foundation Vents & Drains
Look for missing or damaged screens, debris, signs of insect or rodent infestation, or other issues. Unclog drainage systems designed to channel water away from the foundation, including city sewer drains.