Top Five DC Storm Protection Tips

A DC storm is usually mild; however, the rash of intense winter weather has caused a lot of damage and concern. If you find another DC storm is bearing down on you, follow these tips to keep your house safe and dry. The best course of action is preparation and prevention.

1. Let Your Faucets Drip

It may slightly increase your water bill, but letting your faucets drip is the best way to avoid frozen pipes. The movement of water through the pipes helps prevent it from freezing. Turn every faucet (hot and cold knobs) on at a trickle. You don’t have to waste a lot of water. If you regularly drink your tap water, put down some jugs or bowls to collect it. Not only does it save you some money, but it also keeps your pipes working all night. Keep in mind that the drip rate should be slow enough that you won’t have to worry about a bowl overflowing overnight.

2. Don’t Let Your Temperature Dip Below 55

When a DC storm is on its way, it’s tempting to flee to warmer climates. If you can get away, by all means, go. However, don’t turn your heating completely off when you leave. Set your thermostat no lower than 55. This small action prevents the cold from really getting into your house. Moreover, it’s cool enough that you’ll save over your typical electricity bill, too!

3. Don’t Wait to Trim Your Trees

The best time to trim your trees is in the fall. If you’ve missed that window, there’s still a chance to take care of things before the next big storm hits. If you’re an able-bodied person, trimming your trees yourself is possible. Just make sure the ground isn’t too icy. You want to stay safe, especially if you’re using a ladder. However, if you don’t have the time, ability, or desire to cut your trees yourself, call a landscaping company. A quick touch up can save you a lot versus the cost of falling branches.

4. Don’t Pile Items Near Your Walls

If you can, move everything away from the outside walls of your house. Items that are stacked there, from yard equipment to those branches you trimmed off your tree, can collect water. Water that collects next to your walls has a greater chance to get into the ground and affect your foundation. That’s not good!

5. Check the Basement Twice a Day

In a serious storm, the old adage is better safe than sorry. Take a trip down to your basement (and, if you have one, up to the attic) in the morning and evening. Basements and other unseen areas of the house have a higher incidence of leaks going unchecked. If you’re not consciously checking, it might take you days or weeks to notice a leaking roof or wall instead of hours. A quick check is all you need to be sure that your home is still water tight.

DC storms aren’t to be messed with. This season has already brought some doozies, and we’re not out of the woods yet. Follow these tips to be sure your home is ready for whatever these DC storms throw at it.

 

DC Storm Protection Tips

DC storm protection is a complicated process. While some states consider DC’s weather mild, winter storms still stop the city in its tracks. While keeping up with storm protection is a year ‘round job, these tips will help you get through the first big storm when you haven’t prepped all summer.

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Check your weather stripping

During a DC storm the snow will come into your house sideways. If you’re on a time limit, trying to get ahead of the storm that’s going to wreck your house, weather stripping is one of the most effective uses of your time. While full replacement weathers stripping is best, you can fill in the gaps with temporary weather stripping. You’ll keep more moisture outside the house and keep more of your heat inside.

Check for three leaks: heat, air, and water

When the first bad DC storm of the season is just days or hours away, check for leaks in your HVAC system. Keep your heater fired up and ready to keep you toasty during the nasty weather outside. Check for unexpected leaks, in your roof especially. Hot air leaking out of your roof causes snow and ice to melt. From there, it seeps into your roof. Perhaps even worse, the melted ice freezes again at the eaves and builds back up to an ice dam. This puts severe strain on your roof and leads to costly repairs.

Follow up on the heat and air leaks by checking your pipes. A water leak in a storm can freeze, causing severe water damage if left unchecked. Take a look around your home for any loose, straining, or leaking pipes.

Put together a great emergency kit

When winter storms hit, you must stock up on milk, bread, and prescription medications before the storm hits. However, an emergency kit shouldn’t stop with food and medicine. Put together supplies that will help you protect your house and car during a storm. Bags of kitty litter help your car gain traction when stuck in your drive. A tarp and some duct tape will help you patch up any leaks or disasters that come your way. Broaden the scope of your emergencies and put together a comprehensive kit.

Wrap your pipes

Burst pipes are a huge issue, particularly during the first freezing storm of winter. DC pipes that can withstand the first brunt of winter will probably be fine all season long. It’s the first storm that tells you whether you’ve properly protected your home. Make sure you wrap all exterior pipes and interior pipes not directly heated by the air. Exposed pipes in your basement and attic should both be wrapped to protect them from freezing. Frozen pipes can burst, spraying water and causing more damage than the DC storm could have managed on its own.

As a precaution, heed these DC storm protection tips all year long. When you’re pressed for time, however, these tips will help get you through the storm. Put together a good kit, check your house for leaks, and wrap up your weather stripping and your pipes as one.

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