Home Mistakes to Avoid in Cold Weather

This has been an especially brutal winter, with snow, freezing rain and arctic temperatures.  And unfortunately, the cold weather is not over yet.  This might be a good time to review some common mistakes people make at home during this season, so you can make it safely into spring.

Using the Wrong Method to Thaw Pipes

In an effort to thaw frozen pipes, many people turn to electric heaters or even open flames, which can not only damage pipes, but can also result in electrocution or fires.  A safer alternative would be to use a hair dryer to apply heat slowly along the whole pipe.

Climbing on the Roof to Clear Snow

Many homeowners believe that snow buildup on the roof is a hazard and can cause the roof to collapse.  Most roofs, however, are built to withstand this added weight.  Climbing out on to the (slippery) roof to clear heavy snow is not only very dangerous, but just adds the additional weight of a person.

Leaving Curtains Closed During the Day

Yes, the cold weather of winter is a dreary time of year, but it is also the perfect time to open the drapes and let the bright sunshine in.  Besides lifting your mood a little, it is also a great way to add heat to the room for free and give the thermostat a break.

Not Getting Rid of Icicles

They are cool to look at but icicles can cause a lot of damage.  The buildup in your gutters can block water from draining off the roof which can cause interior leaks and roof damage.  They can also damage the porch or deck if they break off and fall down.  You can better prevent icicles from forming in the first place by cleaning out the gutters of all debris before winter hits (remember that for next fall).

Not Humidifying Indoor Air

The indoor air in winter can be much dryer than in other months, which can deplete the moisture from the structural components of your home such as the wood framing, along with hardwood floors and window sills.  This can lead to gaps, air leakage and annoying creaking.  Adding in moisture with a humidifier can increase comfort levels as well as protect the home’s structure.

If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, or if you are looking to purchase a new home, call Lakes Area Home Inspections to check out the interior and exterior components of the house and to alert you of any possible issues due to improper maintenance during cold weather or just wear and tear.  Contact us at 262-818-0911 in Wisconsin or 224-338-8885 in Illinois for a detailed, thorough inspection and report.

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LAHI serves the entire area of Northern IL and Southern WI.  If you are in Waukegan, North Chicago, Barrington, Fox Lake or the surrounding areas, give us a call at (224) 334-8885 so we can get you on our schedule

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