The heat is off and the mercury is dropping, it’s time to prepare for winter months. Freezing temperatures, sleet, and snowstorms present a set of winter concerns for homeowners. Preventive maintenance will protect your home’s exterior and interior, enjoy a hot cup of cocoa whiling away the freezing weather.
Spend some time, effort, and money to insulate and seal your dwelling to withstand any harsh weather conditions.
Hit the Roof
Check your roof, replace missing or damaged roof tiles and tighten loose ones to prevent leaks in the winter from melting snow. Look for breaks in the flashing seals around chimneys and vent stacks, reseal the faults and clear your chimney. Repair small roof leaks by applying caulk or replacing damaged roof elements, leave the more serious leaks to professionals.
Remove debris from gutters that trap water that leaks in the seams. Secure gutters from breaks during heavy snow by replacing missing or defective gutter spikes and downspout rivets.
Install a Home Generator
Consider a home generator for backup electricity in case of a power outage during cold months. Extreme weather conditions can take its toll on the power grid causing it to shut down. Broken tree branches can fall on power lines cutting off electricity.
Drain Your Irrigation System
Protect your outdoor water system with these simple irrigation solutions. Shut off your irrigation system before the outdoors reach freezing point. Empty the sprinkler system to avoid freezing water and leaks, coil, and store. If your sprinkler system is an automatic turn off the water supply and insulates the shutoff valve. Shut off water access to your outdoor, drain water from faucets and insulate so they won’t ice over.
Protect your Pipes
Drain exterior faucets to the last drop the presence of water in pipes will cause it to burst when the ice expands. Install insulation sleeves to Interior pipes to keep them warm. Pipes running through basements and crawlspaces do not get heat from your central heating system and are susceptible to freezing.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Stock on salt to melt ice and make sure you have candles, matches, batteries, cell phones, medicine, and lots of blankets in case of a power outage.
Nice to Have Winter Tools
Don’t wait for the first winter storm to purchase this must-have winter tools stock them in your garden shed for easy access.
- Avoid a back-breaking shoveling with a snow shovel, a wheeled shovel that does the heavy lifting.
- A snowblower can handle heavy snowfall on mid-sized driveways and walkways.
- Protect against damage to the eaves by removing heavy snow with a roof rake and avoid ice damming.
Reverse Ceiling Fan Direction
Your ceiling fan will cool you during sizzling summer and provide warmth during winter months. Most fans have a reverse switch at the base that can rotate the blades to a clockwise position to push rising warm air downward. The air in your interior will feel warmer lowering the thermostat reading and saving energy.
Seal Window and Door Gaps
The sidings of windows and doors have gaps for the entry of cold air. Apply caulk at the exterior portion as needed to cover the gaps, make sure daylight cannot be seen inside.
Avoid Ice Dams
An ice dam appears on roof edges form a buildup of ice due to heavy snowfall. The dam blocks the water from melt snow and prevents it from draining properly off the roof. Water builds up against the dam and seeps in under the roof soaking interior and external walls and ceiling of the house. This also weakens the structure of the house and spurs mold growth. Here are ways to prevent ice dams:
- Seal your ceiling so warm air won’t escape into the attic.
- Insulate the attic floor to reduce rising heat.
- Augment roof insulation to minimize heat loss.
- Use a roof rake to remove the snow from the roof.
Check Your Heating System
Tune-up your heating system to avoid long queues for repair on a chilly day. It will keep your system in good running condition and plug those deadly carbon monoxide leaks. Clean your filters and change when needed, this will increase energy efficiency and ensure that clean air is flowing in your indoor. Homes with pets and smokers get dirty faster and more filter changes.
Adjust Curtain and Blinds
During daytime swing the curtains and blinds open to allow the entry of sunlight and warm up the room. When the sun starts to set, close the curtain and blinds to insulate and keep warm air inside. Locking windows will also keep cold air out and warm air inside.
Trim Tree Branches
Check for branches that are diseased or dead and those that are dangling over power lines these pose danger if not taken care of before winter. Heavy snow and strong winds can break these branches and could fall on your or your neighbor’s house or power lines or people nearby.