Murphy’s Law is a kind of adage that sums up life rather poetically because, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong,” something that is especially true during the winter months. It’s just typically isn’t it?
You’ve been looking forward to festive season all year, excited about waking up to a lawn covered by a delicate carpet of snow, your trees decorated by sparkling icicles, reading a romantic story on your Kindle and your kids getting all giddy with excitement, only for something absurd to wreck the day, week, month or entire Christmas period. We’re talking something like a burst pipe, an ice dam, a huge branch snapping off a tree, or whatever else could possibly go wrong.
Luckily, there are ways to overcome Murphy’s Law and ensure your winter holidays aren’t subjected to the kind of disaster that you’ll still talk about morosely in ten years time. So, without further ado, here are the wise words of some experts that will help prevent disaster hitting your home this winter. After all, no one deserves to have their Christmas ruined.
Ice Dams Not Welcome Here
If there is one place ice dams love to cavort it is around the eaves of your home. Why is this? Well, it has a lot to do with your roof being a lot colder than the rest of your home. Anyway, as the snow on your roof melts, it gets backed up behind the dam of ice that has decided to build up, thus threatening to cause serious damage to your home, via the roof. The good news is, you can take preventative measures. The bad news is, you have to go outside, in this weather, possibly on a ladder because removing any debris from your gutters is essential. The other thing you can do is get a roof rake (we know, they’ve literally invented everything) so that you can tackle any snowfall quickly.
Trim Back Those Trees
Rain, snow, ice – they all add a serious amount of extra weight to the branches of your trees which, you’ve guessed it, makes them susceptible to snapping off. This is probably fine if it happens at the end of your garden, where there is nothing but shrubs. However, if it happens to the trees close to your home, well, you could find a fair few curse words slipping out of your mouth. The best thing you can do right now is trim back the branches and limit the chances of this happening. However, if your to-do list is already rather long and you end up forgetting to do this until you notice a nice layer of snow sitting precariously atop of a branch, your best bet is to brush the snow off with a broom. Don’t shake it. It will be super-frustrating if you’re the reason why a branch snapped and fell through your roof.
Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze
Pipes are pretty good at not bursting, at least until winter comes round. This is because the freezing cold weather forces the water in the pipes to expand and this is what can cause a pipe to burst. That really is a tear-worthy disaster, and reason why you should have some local one call services on speed dial. You don’t want to be faffing around with a telephone directory with water around your ankles. Of course, you don’t need to wait until it is too late to take action because there are some preventative things you can do. First, make sure your pipes are nicely insulated, especially any that are in “colder areas” of the home. Next up, disconnect your garden home. A few other neat little tricks include letting faucets drip slightly and leaving your heating on if you go away for a couple of days or more.
Get Yourself Some Floor Mats
This is one of those things that people tend to overlook until winter has passed and they realise their flooring is an absolute mess. As people come in and out of your home (mainly you and your family), they are going to unwittingly track in things like ice, salt, grit, sand, snow and whatever else, all of which is going to churn up the lovely flooring in your entryway. For the sake of buying a couple of mats for each external door – one on the inside and one outside – it is not worth risking your beautiful floorboards. So, lay down a mat, pop a chair and boot scraper by the door and encourage a ‘no shoes’ home. Oh, and pop a waterproof tray down so that people can hang their shoes and boots up without water dripping down and causing havoc.
Stock Up On Your Supplies
Nothing is worse than being snowed in or suffering from a major blackout only to realise your emergency supplies are looking rather depleted. Winter tends to mean storms and storms tend to mean blackouts, which is a great time to have a little home-based adventure, so long as you are well stocked. That means having a load of batteries in stock, non-perishable foods, lots of candles, bottled water, board games, torches, a well-stocked first aid kit, a portable phone charger and a battery-operated radio. With these things available, a storm becomes a chance to smile with your loved ones and enjoy the good old days of pre-technology.
Check Your Detectors Each Month
You need to make sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly all year round, but it is especially important during the winter months when your home becomes a haven for log fires and convector heaters. Don’t just check the ones you have though, get more put in to be extra sure you are safe. You want them to be in your main living rooms, but you also want to have one in each of the bedrooms too. Then, check them once a month and have a stash of batteries so that you can make a quick change and not forget about it later on.
Mmmmm, take that Murphy’s Law.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.