– Drip your pipes. The faucets in your home that are on exterior walls are more likely to freeze because they are so close to the outside air. Be sure to slowly drip those faucets to keep water flowing, making sure you turn on both the cold and hot water to drip simultaneously. You should also leave the cabinet doors open underneath the faucets to increase the warm airflow around your pipes.
– Block your door cracks. Hopefully at the beginning of winter, you added some new weatherstripping under your doors, but when single digit temperatures arrive you’ll probably still feel some cold air coming in underneath. Stick some towels underneath your exterior doors and it will help seal your warm air in and the cold air out.
– Clean your gutters. You may be rolling your eyes at the thought of climbing a ladder outside your house in single digit temperatures, but 20 minutes of a cold chore could save you thousands (yes, thousands) of dollars and hours of headache. Why? If single digit temperatures are arriving alongside any sort of precipitation, your full gutters are at risk for forming ice dams. Ice dams occur when water can no longer flow down into your gutters so it backs up onto your roof, leaking down in between the shingles.
– Keep your garage doors closed as much as possible. Garage doors are notorious for being uninsulated and letting in so much cold air. To keep the cold air contained to the garage, keep your garage doors closed as much as you can and ensure the doors between your garage and your home sealed with extra towels. If you have a room above the garage, you’ll most likely notice that room get cold too, so try to keep the door to that room closed and insulated as much as possible as well.
– Familiarize yourself with the water turn offs inside and outside of your home. Even when you prepare everything correctly, there’s still always a chance that your pipes may freeze. In case of emergency, familiarize yourself with where your interior water valve turnoff is in case you need to shut it off. You should also know how to turn off your water at the street in case you need to stop the flow into your entire house. Make sure you have the specialized wrench that will allow you to do so.
How do you prepare your home for extremely low temperatures?