Central Virginia is bracing for a cold snap. Experts say while there are many things you may be doing to prepare for winter weather, one of the biggest things you can do is protect your home.
Ready or not, winter weather is here and there are simple things you can do now so you won't have to pay later.
"One cold day, you usually don't have a lot of problems but what we're going to be having [are] four or five days of really cold water and it really accumulates," said Scott Burgess with Burgess Inspections.
The professional home inspector says he sees it far too often - homes that aren't prepared for the reality of winter weather.
"Just go around your windows and see if you feel any drafts coming in around the window. If they do, they've got some plastic you can take and put on top of the window from the inside," he explained.
It's important to make sure the heat your unit puts out stays in the home.
"Hot air rises up, so especially if you have a tall ceiling, you can reverse the ceiling fan so it's pushing the warm air back down," Burgess said.
Then there's pipe protection. When it's cold, turn on your water slightly he says.
"Just so it drips, so water doesn't freeze in the pipes," he said.
Then, go outside and close your home's foundation vents. While you're at it, don't forget the faucets.
"You want to cut these faucets off and most of them have a shut off under the house where you can shut the water off. Then open the pipe up and drain all the water out so the pipes don't freeze," Burgess explained.
Experts say it's not just your pipes you should be concerned with or covering your plants, you should also keep in mind your pets.
"If they are outside pets, make sure they have water because the water is going to melt so make sure they have water. If you bring your pets inside, make sure there's no anti-freeze they can get to because they like that, it's sweet smelling and of course, that's poisonous," Burgess added.
Also, if it snows, protect your home from what could happen after it melts.
"When it hits the overhangs where there's no heat underneath it, it will freeze and water will back inside your house so you want to keep your gutters clean," he said.
Also, if your kitchen sink is mounted against an exterior wall, the inspector says consider opening the cabinet doors at night so that the pipes can get access to heat.
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