As those who live here well know, the weather in New England is subject to change that can be drastic, no matter the season. The current extreme cold that has settled across our region certainly falls into the “drastic” category, but it’s not unheard of. Especially in recent years, these snaps of extreme cold have become more common. Not only is this weather hard on us, but it can be hard on our homes. The best way to deal with this is to be prepared.
Hopefully, before now you’ve tended to the major winter preparedness rules for your home. You’ve had your furnace, water heater, and chimney serviced by a professional, you’ve cleared your gutters and downspouts of debris and maybe even installed leaf guards, and you’ve had your roof checked for damage or deterioration. You’ve also ensured that your attic is well insulated. These last two are especially important for safety, damage control, and energy conservation. A roof in disrepair can cause damage throughout your house, and about 25% of heat loss occurs through your roof.
To be prepared for the extreme cold means to first focus on the smaller details you may have overlooked. Be sure your storm windows are down and, if necessary, install caulk and/or weather stripping. Especially in older homes, you may need to install plastic on the inside of your windows or use draft blockers. The same applies to doors. Insulating pipes, especially those on exterior walls, will help prevent them from freezing. You can also keep cabinet doors open, to circulate warm air, and run a slow trickle of water. Most importantly, be sure that you have both fire and carbon monoxide detectors and that they are up to date and in working order.
For more information about preparing your home for the extreme cold, visit https://www.todayshomeowner.com/how-to-protect-your-home-during-extreme-cold-weather/. For supplies needed for this preparation, visit local hardware stores such as Ed Herrington’s Inc, with 6 locations throughout Litchfield, Berkshire, Dutchess and Columbia Counties.