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Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Get Your Home Ready for Winter By Laura Horwitz
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

When you live in a cold weather climate, certain home improvements can save you money and frustrating repairs in the winter months. With just a little advance planning, you can escape needless hassles and make your home a snug, cozy haven from the cold.

Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze!

With a few simple precautions, you can avoid becoming one of the many people making frantic calls to plumbers after their frozen pipes have burst. Frozen pipes have even caused such significant damage that homeowners have had to remodel their entire kitchens.

Here's how to avoid the problem:

  • Drain all water from exposed outdoor pipes--close the stop and waste valve, open the petcock, and open the outside valve--leaving it open for the entire winter.
  • An electric heating cable can protect indoor pipes or you can add extra insulation, such as foam sleeves.
  • If you have frozen pipes that you are sure have not yet burst, you can use a blow drier to help thaw them, or a blow torch if you know how to safely use it.
  • Call a professional plumber if a frozen pipe has burst. It may not leak while the ice remains, but come springtime it could turn into a flood.

Install Storm Windows and Doors

The extra insulation provided by storm windows and doors can save you a significant amount of money on your heating bill. Choosing and installing storm windows is a fairly straightforward process, but for your exterior doors here's what you should know:

  • Use weather stripping to close the gap under an existing door
  • Wooden doors don't provide as much insulation as steel or fiberglass doors do
  • Fiberglass doors tend to cost the most, but have the highest insulation value and the most style options for your home

With a little pre-planning, you can be ready for the cold winter months ahead.


HGTV, Remodeling: Doors and Windows
HGTV, Remodeling: Fall Plumbing

About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have also appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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