As Winter is now officially here, we wanted to remind you of some basic things you can do to protect your home.
1. Protect the pipes
Protect against frozen pipes by insulating those that could be susceptible to freezing. With severe temperature drops, keep a trickle of water running in a few faucets to guard against freezing and bursting.
2. Stop the slips.
Keep driveways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow and repair any issues with steps and handrails. Be especially vigilant of slippery moss on your sidewalks and driveways that grows during our wet times.
3. House the hose.
Remove all attached garden hoses, drain them and store them away. Shut off the valves and insulate the faucet. There are inexpensive faucet covers for this.
If you’re heading south for the winter, you need to take extra precautions. Turn the water completely off and consider having the plumbing system drained to keep pipes from freezing. Also, have a friend or neighbor check on your home regularly to look for any issues. If a problem is detected, time is of the essence.
Please note that you can call Wilsonville Security (the folks that patrol the streets at night) at 503-207-5300 and let them know you will be gone and they will make an effort to check your address more often.
4. Clear the yard.
Keep the trees trimmed and remove dead branches and debris from your yard. Ice, snow and wind can weaken trees and cause branches to fall and potentially damage your home, car or even yourself and others.
5. Check the gutters.
Prevent ice dams by cleaning out your gutters, installing gutter guards (if feasible) and making sure the attic floor is properly insulated. The attic itself should be well-ventilated and about 10 degrees warmer than outside.
6. Seal the cracks.
Caulk around holes and openings to help prevent cold air from seeping in. Install weather stripping and seals around openings such as windows, doors, air conditioners and mail chutes.
7. Check the Roof.
Make sure that there is little or no Moss and/or missing shingles. Moss can catch the snow and ice and lead to ice dams and missing shingles can allow water to penetrate the roof and leak into the attic or directly into the home.
8. Have heating checked.
The manufacturers recommend that your Furnaces and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to clear any buildup and to keep them running efficiently.
9. Test your detectors.
Residential fires are more common in winter, so it is important that all of your smoke detectors work. Check them monthly and replace batteries as needed. Write the date on the battery when you installed it. You should also consider installing a carbon monoxide detector (or in combination with a smoke detector) to avoid inadvertently trapping this toxic gas in your home.