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 Wisconsin Severe Weather Response Team

Tips and Safety

Prepare Your Home for Winter


 Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets.


 Donít wait for the first winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, such as salt or ice melt.


 Test your snow blower. Make sure it runs before the first snow fall. 
Nowís the time to fix it, not when you need it.


 Test your sump pump if you have one.   Slowly pour several gallons of water into the sump pit to see whether the pump turns on.  You should do this every few months,


 Mow your leaves instead of raking them, Studies at the University of Michigan. by  Mowing your leaves after they are dry, will cut them into  dime-sized pieces that will fall among the grass blades, where they will decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter.


 Check your Furnace, or have a technician inspect your furnace be sure the system is clean and in good repair, make sure there is no leakage.


 Check your Carbon-monoxide detectors and Smoke detectors.


 Change your ceiling fan so it spins clockwise for winter. 


 Clean your gutters on the house.  Make sure the downspout is clear also.   This will help when snow and ice melts to drain it away from your house. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from house.


* A lot of icicles on your home last winter? This is not good.  This can cause ice dams, which can cause melt water to back up and flow into your house.  Check your gutters,  if thatís not the reason you may wish to invest in roof heating cable this will keep ice and snow melted so the ice dams donít start.