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Avoid These Pesky Winter Problems This Year

Winter is officially here, which means that homeowners have to watch for these pesky problems: cold drafts, frozen pipes and ice dams. Read ahead to find out how to fix these seasonal headaches and prevent them from happening again.

1. Cold Drafts

No matter how high you turn up the heat, you still feel a chill when you’re sitting on your living room couch or when you’re curled up in bed. The frigid weather seems to be sneaking its way inside through cracks and gaps around your windows.

How to Fix Them:

You can stop the cold air from pushing its way in by caulking and weatherstripping the interior of the window. You can also use thick curtains as barriers for larger windows.

How to Prevent Them:

Old, low-quality windows let in the cold. Consider looking for replacement windows in Kitchener with better insulating features like Warm Edge Technology spacers and low-emissivity glass. Make sure to get them professionally installed — this is not a scenario where you should consider DIY. The installers will guarantee that the edges have a tight seal so that you don’t have to worry about the cold forcing its way inside.

2. Frozen Pipes

The water in your pipes can freeze when the temperature dips below zero. While it’s inconvenient to have limited access to running water, the worst thing about frozen pipes is that they can burst and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

How to Fix Them:

If you notice that one or more of your pipes have frozen, the first thing that you should do is open up the taps — this will ease the pressure building up inside of the pipes and prevent them from bursting. Then, call up your local plumber to thaw them out for you.

How to Prevent Them:

One of the easiest ways to prevent pipe freezing is to add foam rubber insulation over the water pipes. Pipes that are sitting along outside walls and that are in areas with little insulation are especially vulnerable.

3. Ice Dams

You spot giant icicles on the corner of your roof that look like they could do a lot of damage if they fell. What you’re noticing is called an ice dam — a thick ridge of ice growing on your roof that can pull up shingles and destroy gutters. It can also leak water straight into your attic.

How to Fix Them:

If you want to DIY the situation, you can fill a long stocking with calcium chloride and place it vertically in the dam. This will slowly melt the ice from the middle to the outside.

How to Prevent Them:

Ice dams often form over attics that aren’t insulated. To prevent them from showing up every winter, add some more insulation to your attic ceiling and put de-icing cables over your eaves.

You want your house to survive the winter in one piece. So, follow these protective renovations and maintenance tricks before the snow starts to fall. You won’t have to panic about cold drafts, ice dams or frozen pipes ever again.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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