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Freezing temperatures and snowfall are in store for much of the country this winter and that means homeowners need to take steps to ensure that their loved-ones and property stay safe and warm through the long, cold months ahead. A few precautions can help protect you from serious losses and disruptions this season:
Chimney and furnace fires: While fire presents a year-round risk, certain causes of fire occur more frequently during the winter. Chimneys, boilers and furnaces pose particularly high risks. These fires are caused by a layer of unburned carbon-based residues that builds up along the inside walls of your chimney and can eventually catch fire.
Indoor floods: While home fires make headlines, water damage is also common and often just as severe. Be sure to insulate exposed pipes. If you leave your home to spend time in warmer climates or even just a weekend on the ski slopes, always leave the heat on in your home and set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees.
Backup generators: Power outages can cause many problems from food spoilage to basement flooding. Install back-up generators to power all of your home’s critical systems including sump pumps, security and fire alarm systems, and heating systems.
Ice dams: Snow and ice storms can create ice damming, a potential threat to your home. Icicles hanging from your eaves usually indicate that a dangerous ice dam has formed. The most common causes of ice dams are clogged gutters and insufficient insulation, both of which are easy to remedy.
As one of the first things visitors see, your front door should provide a good impression, reflecting the beauty that emanates throughout your home. With doors, matching the exterior and interior creates a flow into outdoor living spaces. Using doors as a part of the overall aesthetic can also allow for some creativity with glass accents or bold color choices. Choose a reliable door manufacturer, such as Masonite, that offers a wide breadth of finishes and styles using wood, steel and fiberglass.
The retro panache of mid-century modern decor will perk up rooms with its soft, sculptural lines, woven upholstery and bright accessories in geometric shapes. Search for vintage furniture pieces like rounded chairs and button-cushion couches with short, tapered legs to add a sense of authenticity. “We are going retro mod — way back to the ’60s where design was about curvy forms, vibrant colors and eccentric patterns,” says DIY TV personality Taniya Nayak.
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Mature trees on your property represent a potential hazard during storms. Strong winds or frozen water that covers old branches with a heavy coat of ice can lead to failure and collapse, a clear threat to your home or other nearby structures. Have a horticultural expert take a look at your property’s mature trees and prune or cut down unstable specimens.
Home Help: Home safety tips for a safe and happy winter season
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