Winter Weather Safety Tips for Residential Properties
Where does the time go? It’s already January, and we’re headed into the depths of the winter season – which means short days filled with snowmen, cozy fires and bottomless hot chocolate. But it also means cold weather, snow, sleet and a seemingly endless list of home hazards. At ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we care about keeping your family and home safe from the subzero temperatures, so we’ve compiled a list of our top winter weather tips you should know this season.
Anyone who owns a home in cold climates knows that one of the biggest winter hazards is an icy driveway. Keep your family safe from potential fall risks by investing in a de-icing agent such as rock salt, deicing liquid or other alternatives. In addition to driveways, it is a good idea to de-ice porches, walkways and outdoor steps. Make sure to use the materials properly so you don’t damage outdoor or indoor spaces.
If you have an older home or a home whose structure lends itself to snow and ice accumulation on the ride, consider investing in a heating cable. It can be attached near the roof to help melt ice and snow that could cause roof leaks or cracks. If snow is a problem for your home, it is best to consult with a professional for consultation and installation.
Because pipes carry water, which expands when it freezes and creates pressure, they are at risk of freezing and breaking as temperatures drop outside. Pipes that are at greatest risk include those that are exposed to the outdoors, like hose bibs and water sprinkler lines; water supply pipes in unheated interior areas such as basements and crawl spaces; and pipes that run along exterior walls that have little isolation. To help prevent these pipes from freezing, we recommend storing outdoor hoses and closing inside valves that supply them with water, adding insulation to unheated parts of the home that contain pipes, opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer air and letting cold water run through exposed pipes regularly.
Huddling up around a blazing fire is a great way to heat up a winter evening, but comes with potential fire risks. Before putting your fireplace to use, make sure that your chimney is clean and safe enough to handle the flames. Overlooked chimney problems can cause carbon monoxide intrusion and chimney fires. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your chimney checked by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep each year and getting it swept as needed. In addition, before you start a fire, make sure the chimney flue is open to allow smoke out, and after the fire burns out, make sure to close the flue so that warm indoor air cannot escape.
In case the unthinkable happens, make sure you and your family have a plan for fire safety. Make the ultimate commitment to your family’s safety by creating a fire escape plan. You can even make a fun afternoon out of rehearsing it with the kids. Whoever is out fastest wins!
Following our tips and playing it smart will help give you a leg up on the winter season and its many hazards, but sometimes tragedy still strikes. Remember, at the professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simon are always a call away for your restoration needs. Please call us at 773-376-1110 for help or to schedule an appointment.
ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons is a women-owned and family run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. The business provides disaster restoration services for damages caused by water, fire, flooding, mold remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning (hoarder/clutter, post construction, carpet & upholstery) to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest and the North Shore. For more information, visit servicemasterbysimons.com.