What might happen and how can I avoid disaster?
Because fireplaces are used more often during the colder months than the rest of the year, fires are known to occur during the colder seasons.
Along with fireplaces, space heaters can also be the cause of a fire. If old, placed near something flammable, or left on without supervision, your space heater could cause a fire.
- The Fireplace Fix: The fireplace shouldn’t usually be an issue unless it’s not working correctly. The flue may be blocked, have cracks, or have improper ventilation. In this case, be sure to get your fireplace inspected before use during the winter. Also, after fireplace use, make sure the fire has gone out completely before you leave the house or go to bed.
- The Space Heater Fix: If your space heater has been used for quite a few years, look into replacing it. Keep the heater away from loose fabrics and other flammable materials. Look into getting a heater with tip protection so the heater automatically turns off if it tips or falls over.
If a pipe freezes, there’s a high chance of bursting or cracking. Both can cause disastrous flooding and possibly permanent damage if not caught in time.
- The Fix: Insulate your pipes, open cabinets and drawers so warm air can circulate, and keep your house at a warm temperature to help keep your pipes in working order.
This winter home disaster inflicts serious damage to your entire house by affecting your foundation. Frost heave takes place when moisture builds up in the soil around and beneath your house. It freezes and pushes ice and soil upward, therefore causing harm to your foundation.
- The Fix: Ensure your gutters are intact . If they get clogged or broken, water will be incorrectly dispersed and will cause moisture to gather and freeze at the base of your home.
After they are formed, icicles fall off the edge of your home. If large enough, these icy spears could not only cause harm to yourself or a loved one, but also damage your property.
- The Fix: Just like with frost heave, icicles become an issue due to ineffective gutters. Make sure they are clear and in proper working order!