Cold weather is as bad for your health as it is for your home, with pipes cracking up and snow showers damaging your roof line. To strengthen the home against the winter snowstorms and minimize energy bills you have to do a lot more than sealing windows, cleaning furnaces and insulating the attic. Winter storms with strong winds and freezing rain sometimes can lead to power outages which can shut down central heating in the house. It is advisable to have backup like wooden stoves, rechargeable batteries and torches to keep your home warm and well lighted when there is no power.
Insulating the house by putting wetting stripping on windows and spraying foam over all external pipes will provide protection from extreme cold weather and will also save heating bills. Besides ensuring that all basement and attic windows and inlets are completely sealed it is also better to keep a few essentials in the house that can keep your house and driveway clean. Beside snow removal equipment you will also need to keep adequate supply of food along with disaster supplies.
Flowering plants and trees get affected the most when there is frost and snow as their leaves are unable to tolerate the exposure. While perennials die and regrow again in most other small plants need protection. Preparation for winter has to begin in November itself by first removing dead branches and blackened foliage of flowering and vegetable plants. As there is a lot of activity going on under the soil till everything freezes over this is the best time to spread organic mulch over soil around the roots for protection and absorption by plants.
Gather dead leaves, branches, flowers and other organic materials and spread them all around the roots of plants that will not be protected by glass house. Protect evergreen bushes with burlap shelters around the roots so that soil does not shift or get cracked in winter. The tiny fiber glass house is the best place to protect all your delicate flowering plants.
Snow and sleet can be as destructive for your house as a rainy thunderstorm and have been known to batter down roofs and windows. If heavy storms are predicted for your area it is always advisable to take heavy precautions against all kinds of predicaments. Single roofs are the best way to protect outer façade of the roof area as they could be made of slate, asphalt, wood and can stay firm in place for several years if attached properly.
Wall siding or wall cladding that is applied to outer walls of the house can also protect the walls from onslaught of rain driven snow and sleet. This engineered wood siding adds to the aesthetic beauty of the country style house and keeps the building looking strong and beautiful through several years. The siding has been made with horizontal boards that overlap each other to avoid snow and water seeping in between the joints.
People with large courtyards and gardens try to decorate the empty spaces with installations like swimming pool, fountains, patios, decks, arbors and garden shed. While these internal installations can be enjoyed during summer and even early autumn these need protection from harsh winter temperature and winds that can destroy some of them. The best solution under these circumstances is to manage each installation in the best way possible and removing every piece of furniture and other materials that can be kept safely inside a covered enclosure. For protecting this outdoor area the swimming pool has to be completely emptied out and then covered up with tarpaulin after all faucets and pipes are drained out of water. Remove all movable deck and patio furniture and keep them in the garden shed. Remove the water pump and all electrical equipment in the garden and pool area that can be detached safely and pack them up till spring.
Cold wind and snow have the ability to sneak through the most unlikely places and find their way into the house. Check all doors and windows for gaps between frames and seal them completely with rubber sealing and snake drafts if you live in a very cold place. In locations where snow accumulation is common on doors and windows for days then using double or triple glazing for these areas like the one used by Absolute Management Projects to stop the chillness from seeping into the house.
To clear snow from windows and doors, keep plenty of rock salt and sand but avoid using it near plants as it can damage roots and grass. Before the winter sets take care to insulate all doors and windows and check weather stripping to see if it is working well and. To keep out the chill when everything is hidden under layers of snow use water resistant caulk to seal all windows and doors cracks before using plastic window insulation.
The garden hoses that have been used during winter and fall to water the garden should be disconnected and drained to avoid chances of water freezing up and cracking them. Clean all the rain gutters and downspouts in the yard before frost to prevent ice formation. To secure pipes in basement and attic these should be insulated by wrapping them with cellophane or plastic. This can be done by either taping the cellophane directly to the pipes or purchasing wide hollow plastic pipes and attaching around the pipes with cellophane tapes. The basement boiler pipes and other heating installation pipes have been secured here with black plastic pipes that works as insulation to save protect them from freezing up during winter.
Winter can become a painful season if you live in a drafty house or it is not insulated properly. While fireplaces can keep your home warm cold drafts of snow storms can negate its effects, if there are any leaks around doors, windows or pipes running into the from outside. Before onset of winter get your furnace and chimneys cleaned and inspected along with thermostat. To keep the warmth inside install heavy dark curtains on the windows and doors which can be opened during the day when there is strong sunlight.
While insulating doors and windows and keeping them closed at all times can keep the home warm, extra arrangements like thick carpets, wooden stove and electric heaters can also be helpful. An open fireplace fed with wood like this is ideal for this large open floor house as all the rooms are on in relatively single line. By stacking up the fireplace with plenty of logs you can stay warm and snug in the bedroom that is just a few feet away from the main location.
For more ideas on protecting and insulating your home against extreme winter read this ideabook about how to make your home snug this winter.