Cold Weather Tips for the home amid a snowstorm
With blizzard weather being rumoured to be on the horizon, preparation for cold, blistering weather would not go amiss. Some cold weather tips for your home can always be handy!
The “Beast From The East” froze households up and down the country just under a year ago. And us Britons were mostly caught unaware as we were blanketed in snow and our homes suffered at the hands of our ill prepped nature.
With the anticipated winds from the eastern hemisphere honing in on our homeland, could we have a repeat? UK weather forecasts certainly do not rule out the possibility. With many suggesting “severe wintry weather”.
Regardless of whether this turns out to be the case, we here at Able believe it is important to supply you with the information. This will help you reduce the chances of your home suffering damage at the hands of the severe cold.
So here are 7 common problems that a snowstorm can bring and your cold weather tips for the home should Beast from the East return to rear it’s ugly head!
1)Frozen Pipes (Prevent Bursting)
To halt the effects of the severe cold on the plumbing on your property apply these tips for your home in the cold weather to lessen the affects.
Insulating the exposed pipes in your loft with moulded lengths of insulation foam and wrapping the sides/top of your water tank in an insulating jacket will help to give some added protection against the winter elements.
If you discover your pipes have already frozen, then your best point of action is to attempt to thaw them out slowly as opposed to applying quick and direct heat. To relieve pressure on the frozen pipes in your home turn off the stop tap and keep the cold taps running in the nearby taps.
Along with this, wrap towels soaked in hot water around the pipes or wedge a hot water bottle onto the pipe. This helps to thaw out the pipe slowly and avoid irreversible damage to the pipework.
If you want to take this one step further still you can even sit next to the pipe and blast it with a hairdryer on its lowest setting. Going one step further and applying body warmth is not recommended. Pipe hugging has yet to be proven to work.
2) Locks Freezing Over
Locks can often be an unsuspecting victim of sudden cold snaps. Snowstorm weather, bringing icy conditions with it, have been known to freeze the inner mechanisms of locks leaving you homeowners helpless.
There are however, a few tips that can help to avoid these being locked out in freezing weather, and keep the access to your home comforts.
One of the first actions you can take is to purchase a powdered-graphite lubricant spray. These can be bought from hardware stores, similar but not limited to, B&Q. Spray this on the exterior door locks on your property. This will help to stop the lock from freezing and sticking in the ice cold weather.
Although this may seem like a very obvious tip, you would be surprised how many people get caught out this way. Always ensure that if you leave the house in gusty conditions, that you have your keys to hand. Many people call up for this reason each year. So to save face and money ensure your keys stay in your pocket for even the shortest trip outside.
Sometimes the most obvious tips your home in the cold weather can be the most helpful!
3) Heating Trouble
The last thing you want to fail you in snow storm weather would be your gas and heating. Applying some cold weather tips around your home can stop a catastrophic heating failure in a severe storm!
Radiators not fully working are a common problem in colder weather. When snow blankets the ground outside however, this becomes an urgent issue that needs attending to. If they feel cold to the touch up top, even when your heating is blasted to its highest setting, then it indicates the need to bleed the radiator. This can be easily done and and will ensure they once again heat up your room.
Early preparation is also key to setting yourself up ready for any incoming blizzard weather. Ensuring that the walls have sufficient insulation will keep heat inside and save money in the long run.
Similarly ensuring that your boiler is not left without a service can avoid any issues propping up when it is really needed to kick in. The most common time for your boiler to break down is winter time, due to its inactivity throughout the summer months.
4) Pests Seeking Refuge Indoors
The”Beast From The East” will unleash its smaller beastly minions upon your home in the form of rodents and insects.
If it is cold for us, you can bet your bottom dollar that the pests outside feel it. And if the freak weather storm was to strike, bringing an influx of snow, UK wide, then they will most certainly seek refuge within the walls of your home.
I mean who could blame them?
Sealing entry points is a must if you want to stop rodents from finding a crawl space in your home and building a nest. Mice can fit through tiny holes so ensure you check your home carefully.
As well as this, make sure that storage areas are free from clutter. Rodents use this to remain unseen. Not only are these creatures unsightly to live with, but they also carry disease with them that can be passed onto humans.
So if you do not wish to be housing some furry tenants whilst the wind and snow howl outdoors, ensure that you plug the cracks and stop offering an open door policy to the rats and mice.
5) Draught Proof Your Glazing
As mentioned above, cracks and holes in walls need to be filled. The same policy counts for windowsills and frames. By doing this, you prevent heat from escaping. This in turn, means that your energy bills will go down.
A build up of condensation can also be a cause for concern that needs dressing with a degree of urgency.
Not only will this stop you from gazing at the somewhat beautiful phenomenon outside in the form of winter weather, specifically snow storms in England, they also hint a major flaw in your glazing.
This can be a surefire sign that your windows need the old heave-ho. Replace them with a new window that will insulate your home more effectively. Investing in thicker curtains can also keep the heat inside your home, where you need it to be!
6) Electrical Shortages
Albeit this only occurs in extreme cases. But “Beast From The East” was most certainly that. Power outages leave your home almost cave like. Cold, gloomy.
Pretty much thrown back into the 18th Century. When the nights are long this time of the year, power outages cause major inconveniences.
You would be surprised what outdated pieces of electrical equipment can do to the electrical system in your property. Heaters and electric blankets that have not been fully checked risk fires. They must be checked to ensure it has not become outdated.
Power-cuts become even more prevalent upon an influx of snow. In the event of one occurring you must be prepared. Make sure that you have a stock of 2-3 days worth of non-perishables. Ensure you stock up on candles, matches and grit for your driveway.
Finally it is easy to forget how much electricity an electric heater needs. Requiring large amounts, they will skyrocket your bill at the end of the month. Always ensure you switch them off and unplug when they are not needed.
7) Drainage Woes
Freezing drainage pipes cause will cause you a headache. You can almost say brain freeze!
You must check the outside of your property for signs of frozen drainpipes. Keep an eye out for slow water flow or backing up further of the drain. This could be caused by a blockage of a frozen nature.
Likewise it is essential that you keep an eye out for piles of leaves that may still be sprawled across your drains. Heavy snowfall, when melting, needs to drain somewhere. If there is a pile of leaves or debris then a blockage will occur. So ensure you check your guttering clear it out regularly.
You won’t want to be clearing your drains in sub zero temperatures whilst everyone else has their feet up indoors!
Now that you have these cold weather tips for your home, just sit it out and wait!
Hopefully this highlights measures you can take that you have yet to consider.
If the Beast made up of easterly winds was to return with aplomb, such as some forecasters predict, your home stands a much greater chance of riding out the storm and saving you a visit from the maintenance guy to fix the damage.
So whilst your neighbours fret and panic to prepare last minute you need not worry!
With these cold weather tips for your home, you can be confident that you will survive the return of the beast from the east!
If you every get caught in a blizzard. Your home starts breaking down. Perhaps your pipes have frozen or boiler has stopped working. You can turn to Able Group to sort out the problem.