Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 30, 2018

Prepare your home for winter

Colder temperatures have arrived in the Chattanooga area, and they can take a big toll on your home. That’s why it’s important to take a few steps now to prepare your home for the changing weather ahead.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help you make sure your home is the best shelter possible for you and your family during the colder months ahead.

-- To ensure you are blocking outside air and moisture from entering your home, insulate walls and attics, caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, and install storm windows.

-- Clear rain gutters of leaves and debris so they don’t fill with water that can freeze and cause damage to the roof.

-- Trim tree branches that could potentially fall on your home during a storm. Hiring a professional is strongly advised, especially if any branches are near power lines.

-- Have your heating equipment and chimney cleaned and inspected. Ensure there are no openings in the chimney bricks, mortar or flashing.

-- Insulate water pipes with foam wrap or similar products to help prevent them from freezing.

-- Make sure all your fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, and the vent openings are clear of debris and snow.

-- Learn how to shut off your main water valve in case your pipes freeze and burst.

-- Hire a contractor to check the structural integrity of your roof to sustain the weight of ice, snow or water.

Important safety tips

-- During the winter months, many people use alternate heating and power sources. Make sure you take these critical precautions to avoid the risk of electric shock, fire or carbon monoxide poisoning:

-- Keep fire extinguishers around the home, and make sure all family members know how to use them.

-- Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning device inside your home, garage, basement, crawl space or any partially enclosed area. And do not place the unit near a door, window or vent where carbon monoxide could seep indoors.

-- Space heaters should only be placed on a level surface and away from heavy foot traffic when in use, especially if pets or small children are nearby. It’s best to have space heaters that automatically turn off when a room reaches the desired temperature or in the event it is tipped over.

If you need assistance preparing you home for the cold months ahead, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga online directory at www.hbagc.net to find a qualified professional in the Tri-state area.