Ok, pat yourself on the back, you survived a ‘polar vortex’(well… barely, right?). Did you even know there was such a thing as a ‘polar vortex’ or that you would be expected to survive it?
According to Wikipedia, a ‘polar vortex’ is cold-core low-pressure areas strengthening in the winter and weakening in the summer due to their reliance upon the temperature differential between the equator and the poles. (yawn) But, here’s where I come in… with extreme changes in the temperature pressures from season to season, your home could experience a terrible beating if not properly prepared. What kind of damage did your home experience these past couple of weeks? What kind of home repairs are you looking at now because it wasn't prepared for those freezing temperatures?
Believe it or not, we are most likely going to see another ‘polar vortex’ in our lifetime. When it comes to the most valuable investment you have (your home), precautionary measures are wise to get ahead of the game and to be prepared for the next weather storm.
Extreme weather conditions require homeowners to make short term adjustments during extreme times, but these simple adjustments can save thousands of dollars. Did you know that if a pipe breaks on the street side of your water meter, it is the city’s expense - but if a pipe breaks on the house side of your water meter, it is your expense? Something as simple as placing a bail of straw over the water meter (a $5.00 fix) could save you a lot of money in the long run.
With the following simple questions, a minimal amount of cash and a little time set aside for necessary projects, you can weather out the next ‘polar vortex’ (literally) with a cup of hot coffee, a great book, a warm fire in the fireplace and no worries.
Are you ready to get started? OK, ask yourself this:
“Did I have a pipe freeze and/or burst?”
- Maybe there is a lack of insulation around your pipes
- Maybe there is no shut off valve installed for your exterior faucets
- Maybe your pipes are exposed or have minimal protection (especially if they are located in an unheated attic or basement)
- Maybe you didn't leave your faucet dripping as the temperatures reached the freezing point (Continual water flow, even if slight, can decrease the possibility of water freezing)
- Maybe your water heater is located in the garage, and you didn't increase the temperature on your thermostat and crack the connecting house door to the garage
“Did I notice air infiltration around windows and doors?”
- Maybe your windows need replaced
- Maybe your weather stripping needs replaced
There are three things that will make you money in your home:
- PROPER INSULATION
- EFFICIENT WINDOWS AND DOORS
- PROPERLY SIZED AND EFFICIENT HVAC SYSTEMS
These three things can save you money and if you are saving money – you are making money, right? Just about everything else in your home costs you money but by upgrading these items, over time you will save enough money to pay for the upgrades and whatever else is costing you money in your home! (I will cover these three items a little bit further in detail in a future post)
Above all, remember to be safe and be prepared.