12 Aug 5 Ways to Prepare your House for Winter
Inspect the Roof
…either by scanning it closely with binoculars or strap on those non-skid shoes you own and head up there yourself. You’re looking for any shingles that seem old, damaged or out of place. This is a key source for loss of heat and leaking when the snow begins to melt. If your roof is flat, rake or blow the leaves off your roof prior to the first snows because they will add weight and retain moisture which may cause you problems down the line. While up there, clean your gutters of any debris so they do not get weighed down. Ensure to move your downspouts away from your house so they do not cause any damage or flooding in the foundation.
Check the windows and doors
…for any places that might cause a draft. You might need to replace the weatherstripping or caulk around the windows and doors, both inside and outside your house. This would especially be true if there are any gaps in the current exterior caulk larger than a quarter inch. Silicone caulk would be best for your house’s exterior as its side stays static and is weatherproof.
Turn off your exterior water valve
…to ensure the water doesn’t expand when it freezes. We also recommend purchasing pipe insulation to help protect your pipes from the ravages of the winter season. Also be sure to disconnect any hoses and drain all the water from your sprinkler heads, valves, and exterior pipes to prevent them from bursting.
Clean your chimney
…at least bi-annually, or even more often if you use your chimney regularly. Make sure it is clean, obstruction free and in good repair to prevent chimney fires and any carbon monoxide that might make its way into your home.
Trim your trees
…that hang over any power lines or buildings in your area. Should a blizzard or ice storm it, the branches might break off and hit the power lines causing power outages in your area. It might also do the same to your house, causing major damage in need of expensive repairs. Why take the chance?
Here are some bonus tips:
Get someone to take a look at your heating system. It might be worth the $100 for the money you save to make sure it is operating at 100% efficiency and curb any carbon monoxide leakage.
If your house is prone to icicles or ice dams take the extra step to remove them, they could cause meltwater to back up and leak into your home.
Remove any air conditioners from windows or be sure to cover them with insulated liners.
Prepare a winter storm kit in case a blizzard hits. Good ideas for contents include batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food and water (for yourself and your pets if necessary), a first aid kit, candles and a lighter. These could be a life-saver!