Preparing Your Home for Winter Weather in Atlanta
Sure, Atlanta had its moment in the news a few years ago when everyone got stuck on the road when we got 2-3" of unexpected snow, but you know what? People here simply don't experience winter storms like many other parts of the county so of course we were unprepared!
As a homeowner, you probably aren't sure which measures to take when temperatures fall below freezing or we expect ice or snow. Follow these easy tips to prevent damage to your house in case winter weather hits.
- Know where your water shut off valve is located. Your home inspector should have noted this in the inspection report - if you're not sure, check that first. It's likely in your crawl space or basement close to the street so in the event that you have a pipe freeze or burst, you'll need to be able to turn the water off to avoid further damage.
- Clean your gutters. When the last of the leaves fall - maybe between Thanksgiving and Christmas - make sure your gutters are cleaned out. Not only will it helps with regular ol' drainage from rainfall, it'll help prevent ice from building up and putting a lot of unneeded weight on your gutters and reduce roof damage.
- Empty and remove your outside hoses and turn off the tap. Ideally, turn off the water line in your crawlspace and put one of these inexpensive covers over the spigot to protect it from freezing.
- When temperatures drop below freezing - especially for several days in a row - keep faucets on exterior walls dripping to prevent freezing pipes.
- Make sure your HVAC system has a new filter or at least that it's not totally filthy. A clean air filter will help your system from working overtime to keep you cozy.
- You may not have time to do this, but trim any branches or tree limbs overhanging the house. We just had less than an inch of precipitation and I have three different friends who had a big limb fall on their house from the added weight of ice, damaging their roof and causing a major hassle.
- Have some kitty litter or sand on hand to spread on your steps and driveway. Growing up in Baltimore, the memory of shoveling my long driveway is seared into my brain because if we didn't - we'd be slipping all over the place or snowbound for days. If you don't shovel, spreading something for traction may not melt the snow and ice but it'll help you at least walk out of your house a little easier.
- Put together a little emergency kit. Do you have a flashlight, extra water, food and first-aid items to last for a day or so?