If you live in one of the warm southern states, winter is one less thing that you have to worry. But the frigid winds and temperatures during winter in the northern states can create a number of hazards throughout your home, if you’re not prepared. Here are four things that you need to pay extra attention to in the winter.
Take Care of Your Chimney
Your fireplace is a great way to keep your home warm during the colder months. But your chimney needs to be inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis, even more often if you use it a lot to burn firewood. When wood is burned, creosote is created from the different gasses in the smoke that rise through your chimney. It’s highly flammable, and will stick to the inside of your chimney. Over time, it will build up on the inner walls and can ignite, causing a fire. Having it cleaned, or swept, will get rid of any flammable residue.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can get into your home. You won’t notice that you are breathing it, and if inhaled for too long, it can cause death. Any significant amount of carbon monoxide poisoning will require a lengthy hospital stay for recuperation. And the effects of the poisoning can last for a lifetime. In the winter, there is a greater risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is because people stay more cooped up in their home, relying on furnaces and appliances that have the potential to emit carbon monoxide. Be sure to have a professional inspect your appliances and ventilation. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home, if you don’t already. You can easily find on online or at your local hardware store.
If you have any water pipes that are near exterior walls of your home, the extreme cold temperatures of winter can cause them to freeze. And, to make matters worse, the pipes can potentially burst, causing a significant amount of water damage to your home. Having the pipes insulated will keep them from freezing during those frigid months. You can also leave a tap running slowly on sub-zero nights to keep the water from freezing in the pipes.
Your roof will take a lot of abuse all winter with both snow and ice piling up on top of it, and then melting. As the process repeats itself, the integrity of your roof could be compromised and hold water in places. If that water freezes, it’s called an ice dam, and can cause issues with your shingles and sub-roofing materials. If you notice water or ice pooling in certain areas, you’ll want to get in touch with a roofing contractor before the water damage gets any worse.