14 Ways to Protect Your Home in Sub-Zero Temperatures

Are you nervous about the pipes freezing in your home?

Are you planning to put your house on the market in the spring, but are concerned that your landscaping will be ruined from harsh winter weather?

There is no hiding the fact that it is extremely cold outside in the Detroit metropolitan area. According to Weather.com, today’s high for Northville, Michigan is 2 degrees Fahrenheit, and the low is 0 degrees. In Novi, Michigan, the numbers look similar with a high of 2° and a low of -1°. On top of the freezing temperatures, there is also a chance of snow today.

Michigan residents are accustomed to harsh winters, but temperatures this extreme raise a number of questions when it comes to protecting homes from damage including:

  • How do we keep our pipes from bursting in sub-zero temperatures?
  • How far should you place a space heater from something combustible?
  • How do I protect my landscaping from winter damage?

These are great questions, and we will answer them below as we provide you with 14 ways to protect your home from sub-zero temperatures.

14 Tips for Protecting Your Home in Sub-Zero Temperatures

  1. Keep your attached garage door closed as much as possible to minimize cold air from entering your house.
  2. To make sure your newly installed outdoor plumbing doesn’t freeze, shut off the water to your outdoor faucets, and then drain the water from the pipes leading to the outside faucets.
  3. Be certain that you know where the water shut off valve is in your home. This way, if a pipe does burst, you know exactly where to go to shut off water.
  4. If you plan to leave your home for an extended period of time and wonder what temperature you should set your home’s thermostat to, NBC Washington recommends to set it no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. If you are using space heaters inside your house, make sure they are at least 3 feet away from anything combustible.
  6. Don’t forget to have your local utility phone number available before you actually need it. Hopefully, you won’t have to use it, but if you do, you will not have to search for it.
  7. Let your faucets drip. If you have any pipes that are located on outside walls that you think could freeze, let your indoor faucets drip. Turn both the cold and hot water on a slow drip.
  8. Another tip for your pipes is to keep the cabinets open. This way whenever the heating system turns on, your pipes will be warmed up.
  9. Clear out your gutters. By doing this, you will help to minimize the risk of ice buildup on your roof.
  10. Check around your home on the outside and in. If you find a crack or even a hole, the Weather Channel recommends filling it in with caulk.
  11. If you do discover a frozen pipe, remember that it can be damaging to try and thaw it with an open flame. Instead, try a hair dryer.
  12. To reduce heat loss, close your drapes and blinds at night. During the day, open them to allow the natural warmth from the sun.
  13. Come spring, your trees and shrubs will thank you if you shake off any heavy snow from them now.
  14. If you have a newly planted tree or shrub, install 4 stakes around and enclose it was a burlap sack.

Bonus Tips

  1. If your car battery is dead, do not try to jump-start it while it is still frozen. That could lead to the battery rupturing or exploding.
  2. Keep your car’s gas tank above half way full to avoid freezing.
  3. If you have any pets, keep them inside.
  4. If you decide to head out outside today, dress warm and in loose fitting clothing.

When sub-zero temperatures hit, using practical tips will help you to protect your home from damage. The good news is that warmer weather is on the horizon. From all of us at the Jamey Kramer Group, please stay warm and stay safe.