Steps to winterize your home

January 6, 2010 4:03:30 PM PST
Now is the time to make sure your home is ready for the bitter cold. There are some simple steps you can take to keep winter weather from causing big problems to your home. Home improvement experts we spoke with say it's been 20 years or more since the weather has been forecasted to be this cold for this long. The freezing temperatures may be severe enough to cause problems around your home. When the forecast calls for extended hours of freezing temperatures, covering the pipes around your home is essential. If you can't find foam insulation, don't worry.

"You can use newspapers, towels, anything you can to cover it up and keep the cold wind off of it, keep the cold off of it," said Gary Hicks of ARS Rescue Rooter.

Homeowners should also remove hoses and put them in a garage.

"Disconnect all there hoses because water stays in the hose, it will freeze and travel up the hose here and start freezing the pipes inside," said Jim Dutton of Du West.

Cover the faucets too. Stores have Styrofoam covers, but most are sold out by now.

"Take a towel and wrap the wrap the hose bib up. Because all you are trying to to is keep the air of of the hose bib," said Dutton.

If you have a pool, simply keeping the pump running is not enough.

"You have to have your valves set so that you have water flowing through all the pipes because the way valves typically work is that you shut off certain valves but the pipes still have water in them," said Dutton.

As far as the sprinkler system goes, the pipes are underground, so they will not freeze. However, be sure to turn the system off so no water is sent through the pipes.

Watering plants one last time is not a bad idea.

"If you water real heavy before the freeze comes in, it will take on the moisture and that will help save your plants and of course if you have real delicate ones, you want to cover them up," said Dutton.

You should also cover the pipes in the attic because it can get cold enough to freeze there.