West Virginia Tough — Reminders for Harsh Winters

Residents of West Virginia have the pleasure of enjoying a beautiful winter. Plentiful snow and the peaks and slopes of the Appalachians make for a picturesque way of life. Great winters provide a lot of recreation and fun but can also create problems for homeowners. In a harsh winter you want to be prepared so you can avoid costly home repairs. Here are a few tips to get through a tough freeze or winter storm.

#1 Insulate

Remember to insulate your outdoor spigots. Pay attention to upcoming weather and get your faucets covered. You can purchase covers made for winterizing at a local hardware store. They are typically made in the form of an insulated foam or bag made to seal at the faucet’s base. In a pinch you can wrap the pipes with a towel and cover it in a plastic bag. It is important to get them covered ahead of time to prevent any ruptures from the freeze.

#2 Protect

Protect your internal pipes from freezing and bursting, especially pipes located on an outside wall. First, set your faucets to a slow stream or drip. Keeping a continuous flow, even at a slow trickle will help prevent frozen pipes. You should also open your kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm internal air flow to reach plumbing.

#3 Prepare

Prepare for power outages. In a location like West Virginia infrastructure is typically prepared to weather harsher conditions, but it never hurts to prepare for a grid outage. Store up candles, propane or battery-operated lanterns, firewood and charcoal. If you do experience an outage, you’ll be able to light your home, stay warm and cook. If possible, purchase a generator to hook up outside your house for charging electronics during an outage.

Bear in mind our last tip for your next home purchase or appliance upgrades. Gas powered appliances are a great idea for homes in winter climates. When the power goes out you can still cook with a gas stove. During your home search, if you’re shopping for a home that comes with appliances included keep a lookout for a gas-powered stove and fireplace. If you have an electric stove, consider a gas option the next time you upgrade.

Are you new to West Virginia and the winter climate? Talk with one of our real estate experts. They’ll help you find a home and make sure you’re prepared.