The winter season can be a dangerous time for property owners. The combination of cold weather and hazardous materials can create a number of safety risks for people and their homes. In order to keep your property safe and clean during the winter, it is important to take some precautions. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
Combating Slippery Surfaces
One of the biggest problems brought on by winter weather is slippery surfaces. The frost and subsequent snowfall can coat your property in ice, which is very dangerous for people and their homes. Make sure that you are taking measures to reduce any potential slips or falls during the winter months. This includes using salt to melt away any ice buildup. It is also important to maintain good footing while outside so as not to cause damage to yourself or your home.
When adding salt keep in mind that it may damage certain surfaces including brick, aluminum, vinyl siding, or concrete. Be sure to test any alternatives on an inconspicuous area of the surface before putting anything down.
It is also important to remember that salt can cause problems with pets and plants if not used correctly. Alternatively, you can always ask for snow and ice removal for a certain place. Dogs are particularly sensitive to salts, so it is best to refrain from using them in areas where you know your dog spends time. Salt alternatives such as sand or ash should be considered for places where your pet plays often. As far as plants go, salt can seep into soil bringing harmful chemicals along with it. It is best to use other methods for melting ice when dealing with vegetation near the home site.
Keep Your Home Warm
Keeping warm inside your home during the cold months will help reduce the amount of energy you use to heat it up later on down the road. Turning off lights when they are not being used will keep your bill lower, especially if you make an effort not to heat rooms that are not in use. Additionally, lower the temperature on your hot water heater to a recommended 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help reduce the amount of energy necessary to warm up the tap water you use around your home or while showering.
Wise Window Usage
When temperatures begin to drop outside it is important to know how best to insulate your home from both cold air and potential intruders. Windows can be a major source of heat loss during the winter months so pay extra attention if you find yourself frequently opening them for ventilation purposes. If you cannot keep them closed at all times, installing storm windows over top of traditional ones is an excellent way to minimize heat loss through your glass surfaces. You can also install plastic window kits that provide an extra barrier between the cold air and your home to keep it warm. If you have a fireplace, install a chimney balloon to help insulate that opening.
Clean Your Pipes Before They Freeze
One of the most dangerous aspects of winter weather is dealing with frozen pipes. If left exposed, your plumbing can develop serious issues that may lead to costly repairs. Be sure to drain any outdoor hoses before the temperatures drop low enough for them to freeze. There are also products available specifically designed to protect your pipes from freezing during the winter months. Try using an insulation sleeve or a shutoff valve.
The winter months can be a difficult time to deal with both the harsh weather conditions and any potential intruders. To keep your property safe, it is important to take some precautions before freezing temperatures set in. Combating slippery surfaces, keeping warm inside of your home, wise window usage and clean pipes should help you stay on top of things during this season.