How to winterize your home as the temperatures plunge

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LAVALETTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) — With cold temperatures setting in Tuesday into Wednesday, now is a good time to start taking steps to make sure your home is protected from the cold.

With temperatures plunging Tuesday night into Wednesday, experts say now is the time to start preparing your home for the cold.

Winterizing your home can often be easy and inexpensive, and typically you don't need professional help to do it.

Billy Pierce, the manager at Kenny Queen Hardware, suggests several ways to winterize your home.

"The pipe insulation and heat tape is really important because if that pipe bursts, it can cause severe damage to the wood structure in the house," Pierce said. "It's really important to be ready before it happens."

He suggests using slip-on pipe insulation, which works for either plastic or copper pipes. He says you can also use heat tape to protect them.

That protective covering can stay on your pipes year-round.

Pierce says oftentimes, the biggest thing homeowners forget to do is protect faucets on the outside of the home.

"They forget and leave their garden hose hooked up and then it busts," Pierce said.

There is protective covering you can buy that will protect your faucets outside.

Pierce says the next thing you should do is look around your windows and doors for any gaps where warm air can escape.

There are several different sealants you can purchase that will close up those gaps to keep warm air in and cold air out. There is also insulation you can buy for your windows.

Pierce also suggest sealing up your garage doors, as that's another area where warm air can get out.

He says rubber sealants should be replaced around windows and doors every two to three years.

Another thing you should do is make sure you have a backup heat source in case your electricity goes out.

"If your electric goes off, you still have to have heat to keep the lines from freezing," Pierce said. "If you don't have backup heat, you can't heat the house."

Pierce says it is important if you are using a gas heat source to have a carbon monoxide detector too.

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