5 Ways You Might be Damaging Your Home in the Winter

Now that the temperatures have finally started to drop, how you do household tasks, and the kinds of tasks you must do will change.  Doing basic chores the correct way can save you thousands of dollars down the road.  So here are a few common mistakes that can easily be prevented.

Red blurry snow shovel

Mistake 1:  Not keeping pipes warm.  We have all been there, you go to turn on your shower to get ready for the day and nothing.  Chances are you have a frozen pipe.  Solution:  When you know it’s going to be cold that night, leave your cabinets cracked to let the warm indoor air reach the pipes.  If a pipe is frozen, open the faucet and direct a hair dryer toward the ice section.

Mistake 2:  Letting your gutter empty right next to the house.  Water that dumps near your foundation can deep into your basement or crawl space.  Solution:  Clean gutters and downspouts in the fall so water flows where it’s supposed to.  Add a splash block so that water from your gutters is directed at least 4-6 feet away from the foundation.

Mistake 3:  Not shutting off outside faucets.  The faucets that you use to water plants or wash your car can freeze if you don’t shut the water off to them.  Solution:  Use the water shutoff valve to completely turn off the water.  You will also want to open the faucet outside until remaining water drips out.

Mistake 4:  Using harsh de-icing products on your driveway and walks.  Some de-icing chemicals can attack the cement paste which bonds the concrete together.  Solution:  Sprinkling sand is usually all you need to de-ice your driveway.  Look for play sand or traction sand which contains more grit.

Mistake 5:  Using a metal snow shovel.  Metal shovels will scratch your concrete or stone.  Solution:  Use a plastic snow shovel to prevent dinging or scratches.

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