Cold Weather Home Maintenance
As you begin reaching for warmer clothes and blankets, your home needs more protection from the elements too. TotalProtect® Home Warranty suggests these cold weather maintenance steps, as well as recommendations from MSN and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to make winter safer and smoother…and to prevent unpleasant surprises come spring.
Prepare Your Plumbing
When water freezes, it expands, which can cause flooding and water damage. If you live in a freezing climate, MSN's real estate experts recommend the following steps to "winterize" plumbing systems:
- Drain underground sprinkler systems
- Drain and store garden hoses; keep one hose and nozzle out to clean gutters or wash cars
- Cover all exposed spigots
- Drain the outdoor pool and have it serviced
- Drain or wrap exterior pipes, (plus those running through unheated areas like garages or porches)
Assemble a Cold Weather Emergency Kit
Unexpected storms can cause prolonged power outages and impenetrable roadways, making day-to-day necessities impossible to obtain. TotalProtect recommends you put together a core emergency kit, following FEMA's guidelines:
- 3-day supply of food and water
- Battery-powered radio and plenty of flashlights and batteries
- Rock salt: for melting ice on walkways
- Sand: to help traction
- Snow shovels or snow removal equipment
- Extra clothing and blankets for warmth
Get Your Heating System and Other Major Home Systems Checked
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), home fires occur more often in winter than any other season, partly due to higher cooking and heating demands. Inspecting the furnace or central heat system, electrical system and oven before peak usage is a smart preventive step. In addition to safety, this also helps monthly energy savings, since systems that work properly are more energy-efficient. For more home maintenance tips, visit http://www.totalprotect.com/tips-to-keep-your-home-in-top-shape.
If you have a chimney, MSN strongly urges you to clean it this fall, if you didn't do so at the end of the last heating season. This is an extremely important safety check, as MSN explains that a chimney fire is the only symptom of a dirty chimney most homeowners will ever see. They also remind homeowners that a carbon monoxide detector is necessary if using wood or gas heat.
TotalProtect Helps with Cold Weather Maintenance -- and Winter Emergencies Too
Thousands of homeowners nationwide rely on TotalProtect each winter. If any covered system or appliance breaks down due to mechanical failure, TotalProtect will repair or replace it.†
We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…even on weekends and holidays!
With an extended home warranty from TotalProtect, you and your family can enjoy reassuring peace of mind all year long.
The information in this article is intended for the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are intended to indicate coverage by our home warranty or service plans. Please review your contract carefully to understand what your product coverage entails.