Some Preventative Ideas for Your Central Oregon Home During Winter
Winter in Central Oregon can be fun, but it's also a time to be extra careful both in and out of the house. Frigid temperatures can make water freeze and expand, causing pipes to burst. Ice buildup on the roof, if unnoticed, can damage both the roof and gutters. Slick black ice between the house and your car can turn that short walk into a hazard.
Here are a few things you can use to prevent damage to your home during the winter months:
1. Heat Tape
Homeowners often shut off the water supply to outside spigots in late fall, but some indoor pipes—such as those located in unheated basements, crawl spaces, or even under sinks in poorly insulated houses—can still be at risk of freezing.
2. Radiant Heat Mats
Icy driveways and sidewalks lead to wintertime falls—and visits to the emergency room. Fortunately, safety doesn't have to involve spreading toxic chemicals or plant-killing salt on paved surfaces. Approved electric radiant heat mats can be used outdoors not only to save time shoveling, but also to create safer environments with less ice, fewer slips and falls, and less need to salt and condition the surface.
3. Roof and Gutter De-Icing Cables
An accumulation of snow on the roof can pose a risk if it begins to melt and then refreezes, resulting in heavy ice buildup along the edge of the roof and in the gutter. These accumulations, known as ice dams, can damage roof shingles and lead to leaks, and cause the gutter to tear away from the house.
4. Frost-Free Sillcocks
Exterior faucets are notorious for freezing and breaking in winter. One solution is to turn off the water supply to the faucets and bleed the lines so they can’t freeze. A better solution would be to replace your standard outdoor faucets with frost-free sillcocks. In a frost-free sillcock, unlike a standard exterior faucet, the valve that shuts off the water sits at the end of a long pipe so it's situated inside your house.