With the winter comes extreme temperatures that can cause your home and home systems to behave in ways they usually would not. With the cold weather, we typically spend less time outdoors, so issues that arise are more likely to go on without being noticed when compared to issues that arise in the summer or springtime. For these reasons, winter preparation is essential to making it through the season with minimal issues.
Weatherproofing the Home
The first thing to do when it comes to getting ready for the winter is to make the home as weather resistant as possible. The goal is to keep the inside of the home as warm and comfortable as possible while being as efficient as possible.
- Opening Protection - Taking steps to keep the cold out and the warm in is a great start. Looking at the openings of the home such as doors and windows to be sure they are properly sealed is a simple task that most people can handle on their own. Walk the perimeter of the home checking the seal around the edges of the windows and doors along with the weather stripping and threshold. For any windows that are not quite sealed, use caulk to create a fresh seal. Replace any damaged weather stripping that is allowing air to flow in and out of the house.
- Pipes - With temperatures plummeting, it is a good idea to take steps to maintain the health of your pipes. If you live in an area where temperatures get below freezing, know that any exposed pipes should be insulated to prevent the water inside them from freezing. . Look into Pipe and hose insulators to wrap any exposed pipes or spigots.
- Gutters - It is essential to ensure that roof gutters are cleared of debris and leaves. Leaving these materials uncleared can potentially result in damage caused by additional weight from ice and snow, leading to the risk of tearing or pulling away from your roof - something no homeowner wants!
In addition to cleaning and sealing, we want to be sure that everything in the home is functioning correctly. Doing a quick function check or inspection can go a long way.
- Heating - Be sure that you run your primary heating system before it starts to get too cold. If there is something out of order with your furnace or HVAC, you want to be able to get it repaired or replaced before the worst of the weather hits. You never want to run your heater for the first time after temperatures have already dropped.
- Fireplace - Having a professional come to inspect and clean the fireplace and chimney is always a great idea before the winter weather strikes. You are going to want to be sure that these are functioning properly if you will be using them during the winter.
- Foundation - If you have a crawlspace or raised foundation, you’ll want to check to be sure that there are no openings around the outside. This will help to regulate temperatures around the pipes beneath the foundation, keep the home warm, and keep pests and critters out.
- Roof - The roof is one of the most important parts of the home year-round, and that does not change in the wintertime. Your roof is the primary protection from precipitation whether that be heavy rain or the weight of snow sitting on the roof. Inspecting your roof to locate imperfections before the winter will give you peace of mind knowing that it is doing the job it needs to be doing.
Taking precautions by making your home more weather-resistant and inspecting home systems help infinitely when it comes to avoiding wintertime problems and claims, but nothing will guarantee that unfortunate events will not come with the cold weather. The final part of your winter weather preparedness is to gather supplies that you may need in an emergency. Stocking up on the following supplies can be a huge help in a bind:
- Flashlights with fresh batteries
- Extra blankets/Coats
- Plenty of food and drinking water (For both people and pets)
- Battery powered lantern
- A snow shovel
- If possible, a generator and space heaters
Proper home upkeep and maintenance are extremely important, especially during the winter months. Taking some time to check key areas of the home and make minor repairs can go a long way in making the winter season as enjoyable as possible. Follow the steps that we have covered here to get a leg up before winter weather strikes your home.
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