Now that Mother Nature seems to have decided that everyone needs to start bundling up, homeowners should also make sure that their homes are ready for the cold weather.
We all know that water can be a home’s biggest enemy. So a little effort when the temps drop can save you a lot of grief later on. Take a look at your indoor pipes. If they are located along exterior walls, or in the attic, basement, crawl space, or even under the sink, you might want to consider pipe insulation. It’s a small investment that could save you thousands of dollars in repairs if those pipes were to burst.
Don’t forget the outside water sources. Hoses and sprinklers should be disconnected and stored for the winter months. Turn off the water-supply valve inside the house and then turn on the outside spigots to drain any water that is still in the line. That simple task will help prevent the pipes from freezing and causing headaches and costly repairs.
Make sure your roof is secure. Snow is heavy and sometimes takes a while to melt. Not only is that weight a danger for a roof that is not structurally secure, but the weight of the snow can cause loose shingles to shift increasing the likelihood of water leaking. Repair shingles and have an inspector confirm that your roof is in good shape BEFORE the snow starts to fall.
Everyone wants to stay warm, right? One of the best ways to make sure your family stays comfortable – and to cut down on energy bills – is to inspect your home’s insulation and add more in areas such as attics, crawlspaces, and exterior walls. This will also save you in the summer months and keep your home cool.
The leaves have been falling and homeowners have spent weekends raking and blowing them out of their yards. But don’t forget to make sure your gutters are clean as well. Those leaves tend to hide in gutters and can clog drainage. Then when the snow melts or the rains come, gutters overflow and can cause all kinds of damage. Clean out those leaves, sticks, and other items and make sure the drainage is directed away from your home foundation.
Nothing seems to make a bigger impact on keeping a home warm (and cool in the summer) than energy efficient doors and windows. Replacing drafty windows or doors will immediately cut down on costs and make you more comfortable. If replacing is not an option, consider installing storm windows or doors.
Other things to consider include trimming any trees that appear to be vulnerable to ice and wind – especially ones that are near your home or other structures. Additionally always make sure your chimneys and fireplaces are clean and clear of creosote buildup or nests and debris left by animals.
These are just a few suggestions for preparing your home for winter. Take the time to check around your home to be certain that drains are clear, any cracks are sealed, and possible hazards are taken care of before they can cause personal or property damage.
Above all, stay safe and warm this winter. Summer is just 31 weeks away!