Ice Damming

Cold Weather Survival Guide for Greater St. Louis Homeowners

RRSABlog Greater St. Louis Weather

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The best word to describe our Greater St. Louis weather at night right now is “Brrr!” Temperatures have dropped below freezing on several nights and the forecast calls for more of that for several days of this coming week and into the weekend.

Yes, the winter season has definitely arrived in Greater St. Louis. So how do you protect your home during severely cold weather? Below RRSA St. Louis has provided several helpful tips for making sure that both the inside and the outside of your home is protected from Old Man Winter:

Inside Your Home

Back at the end of the summer, the RRSA St. Louis blog wrote a post to help you prepare for cooler weather. We didn’t realize at that time that Winter would make its appearance in Greater St. Louis so quickly this year. When temperatures drop as they have, here are a few more steps to take:

  • Keep your house heated to a minimum of 65 degrees. The temperature inside the walls where the pipes are located is substantially colder than the walls themselves. A temperature lower than 65 degrees might not keep the inside walls from freezing.
  • Check the location for the main water shutoff in your home. And refresh your memory on—or learn—how it works, in case you have to use it.
  • Open hot and cold faucets enough to let them drip slowly. In severely frigid temperatures, keeping water moving within the pipes will help prevent freezing.
  • Check that fireplace, wood stoves and electric heaters are working properly. Make sure there are no combustible items near the heat sources and watch them closely, especially the first time in the season you use them.
  • Keep your fireplace flue closed when you’re not using it.
  • Ask a neighbor to check the house regularly any time you’re away. If pipes freeze or if there’s a water leak, quick action could mean far less damage. If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, have the water system—including swimming pool plumbing, if applicable—drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting.

Outside Your Home

If we get snow or ice over the next week or so due to the freezing temperatures, the weight could damage your roof. Backed-up gutters might allow water to seep into your house. Vigilance is key during severe weather—stay ahead of the potential hazards outside your home.

  • Keep sidewalks and entrances to your home free from snow and ice. You don’t want anyone to slip and fall.
  • Watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts. Ice dams can cause water to build up and seep into your house. Clear gutters of leaves and debris to allow runoff from melting snow and ice to flow freely.
  • Run your swimming pool pump at night when the temperatures are expected to go below freezing. This will keep the water flowing through the pipes.
  • Keep your garage doors closed. This will prevent weather damage to whatever’s stored in there. Plus, if your garage is attached to your house, the home entrance door from the garage is probably not as well insulated as an exterior door so this will keep more heat in.
  • Double-check for dead, damaged or dangerous tree branches and have them removed. Even if they looked sound earlier in the year, trees can be affected by ice, snow or wind. When stressed, branches can fall and damage your house or car, or injure someone on or near your property.

The RRSA St. Louis team hopes the above tips for protecting your Greater St. Louis home during this cold weather will be very helpful to you. If you need any assistance with the above tasks or have home improvement projects that you want to be accomplished, even during very cold weather, RRSA St. Louis is here for you.

Call us today to schedule your FREE home inspection, no matter the weather.

Serving Greater St. Louis, Chesterfield, St. Charles, O’Fallon