Although it is still the beginning of November, some light snowfall has affirmed that we are most certainly heading into winter here in Iowa. Anyone who lives in the Midwest is familiar with how unpredictable the winters can be around here. Nevertheless, it is always better to heir on the side of caution. Even though winter does not bring tornados, prairie fires, and severe flooding from rivers (usually), there are still natural disasters and preventable accidents that put your family at risk. Now that winter is almost here, your local ServiceMaster By Rice has tips to get your home or business ready for winter.

Turn Off Exterior Water Lines, Insulate Interior Ones

If you have waited until November to do this, you are a little behind the ball. Make sure that all of your garden hoses are put away that any exterior valves are turned off. It is important to check that they are not even leaking or slowly dripping throughout the winter, as the water could seep into the foundation of your home and cause cracks, ultimately leading to potential water damage.

It’s also important to insulate the water lines in your basement if you can access them. Despite the fact that they are inside, that does not entirely shield them from the effects of cold weather. Wrapping them in something to keep them warm will help secure when temperatures are in the single digits or below zero.

Clean Out Gutters Around The House

Gutters can become a serious liability in the winter months of Iowa. As the temperatures drop, the snow falls, and the Earth below us freezes, icicles can form off of the side of your home if your gutters are not cleaned. As icicles become weaker over time, they can fall on people and cause injury or death. The easiest way to prevent a scenario like this is to have your gutters cleaned ahead of time.

Repair Roof Leaks

If you are aware of a leak in your roof or are suspicious that one might exist, take care of it before snow piles up on your home. A slow drip of water into your home throughout the winter can set up mold growth in places throughout your home or commercial property. Not only that, water can leak into drywall throughout your ceilings and walls, causing significant water damage throughout your home or business. ServiceMaster By Rice offers reconstruction services for homes if you need help!

Test Your Home Furnace & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you haven’t fired up your furnace yet, now is a good time to make sure that it is ready. Furnaces are amazing appliances when they are operating correctly. However, if they are having issues, they can be toxic to the health of you and your family. Home and commercial furnaces are capable of leaking highly lethal carbon monoxide into your basement and home. Since carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, natural gas providers counteract this by scenting the gas so that you can smell if there is a leak.

Drive Responsibly

This isn’t directly related to home or business disasters, but winter is easily the most dangerous time of the year to drive in Iowa or Minnesota. High winds, heavy snow, and black ice create slick road conditions that many people underestimate, especially on the interstate. Looking back on the 70 car pile-up that happened on I-35 near Ames back in February of 2018, you can see where accidents could have been avoided. Don’t let the rough driving conditions be the thing that totals your car or puts your life at risk.

Your Local Cleaning & Disaster Repair Experts

ServiceMaster By Rice has been serving Iowans in Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Cedar Rapids, and all throughout the state and southern Minnesota for over 60 years. Our diverse lineup of IICRC certified technicians have helped people with the worst natural disaster cleanups to high-end commercial property cleaning. If you are a business owner, sign up for our Priority Response Program to ensure that your business quickly receives disaster cleanup following a emergency event. Stay safe this winter and contact us if you need any of our services for your home or business!