Preparing Your Home For Winter
Essential Tips To Save You Money and Keep You Injury Free
Taking preventative steps now will keep your expenses down during the winter months.
Winter will be fast approaching, so it’s important to utilize the remaining sunny days of fall to prepare your home for the colder months. Below is a checklist we have compiled from the experts that will help you coast through the next few months relatively stress free.
Water Plumbing leaks can cause a lot of damage which can also be very expensive to repair. To avoid water damage to your property you should:
Disconnect all hoses from exterior water faucets. Drain any water remaining in from faucet and store hoses in a garage or shed.
If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, have the lines blown out. Hire a professional if you are unsure of how to do this. A frozen line can burst and flood your frozen lawn.
Caulk exterior ducts and pipes. The hot days of summer can wear out existing caulking and cause it to leak.
Remove any leaves or debris from gutters. This will help prevent ice dams from forming and reduce risk of water seeping into home.
Inspect your roof for any potential leaks or eroded shingles. Make all necessary repairs. If you can, hire a professional to evaluate if your roof is sufficient enough to handle the weight of heavy snow.
Wrap water pipes in basement or crawlspace with insulated tape.
Divert water from house. You can add extensions to downspouts around the home for around $10 a piece. The added length will keep water from damaging the home’s foundation or seeping into basements.
Fire If you have ever experienced a furnace failure in the dead of winter, you know it usually happens on the coldest day of the year, or on a weekend. You either have to suffer through the frigid nights or pay exorbitant fees. Here are a few things to ward off that experience:
Hire a certified professional come out and do a thorough inspection and cleaning of your furnace. They can identify any issues before it becomes an emergency. You will have time to save the money for the fix and be prepared that something can happen. Replace the furnace filter if dirty.
Clean the fireplace before use. We recommend having a professional come out to inspect it and clean the chimney every year.
If using a fireplace or wood stove, make sure your wood is protected from the snow outside. Cover it up with a tarp or store it in a covered spot.
Frigid air can wreak havoc on your utility bills and the occupants in your house. Spending a few dollars in prepping your windows, walls and attic will save you money in heating bills for years to come. Consider the following suggestions:
If you have screens on the windows or a screen door, replace them with storm windows and doors.
Install insulation in your walls and attics. Especially if you live in an older home.
Make sure furniture isn’t blocking any vents.
Replace weather stripping under doors to prevent drafts.
Make sure batteries are fresh in smoke detectors. Purchase a carbon monoxide detector for your home. A faulty furnace or uncleaned fireplace can release harmful gases into the air.
Check ceiling fans for a reverse switch. When blades are set to rotate in a clockwise direction, it forces the heated air back down. This can help you save money by being able to reduce the temperature on the thermostat.
Ensure all outdoor vents and openings are covered to prevent animals or insects from coming in for shelter and damaging your home.
Earth This includes all the left over items that you should be aware of during the winter months. This includes:
Remove any branches that are close to roof , house walls, or electrical lines. Fallen tree limbs weighed down by ice and snow can cause serious damage to your property and interrupt services, like electricity. Proper trimming and maintenance can go a long way. Power lines can be dangerous to work around so if you notice limbs that are in need of trimming near them, call a professional or your utility company. DO NOT ATTEMPT to remove them yourself. You could be killed.
Check handrails around the exterior of your house. Make sure they are stable and secure. You don’t want to risk falling on slippery stairs.
Make sure you have a plentiful stock of salt or ice melt on hand. When a severe winter storm hits, you won’t want to drive to the hardware store, scramble to find the remaining bags, and then have to wait in line with everyone else who didn’t prepare.
Take inventory of your winter tools and shovels. Inspect them to see if they are in good enough shape to get you through the season, and sharpen blades if necessary.
Winter can be brutal, but it can be a lot of fun too. If you take these steps to prepare your home for the winter, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the beauty of it.