Adequate preparation for the winter season should keep you and your loved ones safe. It also eliminates the risk of developing personal injuries and financial disaster. The following text should give you ideas on how to winterize your home:
Avoid Plumbing Freezes
During the winter season water stuck in pipes freezes. The frozen water expands, causing pipes to crack and burst. Pipes also burst as a result of built-up pressure behind a chunk of ice. You can avoid this by:
- Draining water from sprinkler systems and other outdoor faucets to prevent freezing
- Leave the faucets dripping during cold weather
- Insulating exposed pipes, e.g., using foam insulators
- Leaving the heat on (at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit) if going for a vacation
- Shut off your AC water valve
Inspect Your Roof
If the temperature in your region falls below 32 degrees during winter, consider adding extra insulation to the attic to prevent the warm air escaping from causing ice dams. Ice dams form when warm air escapes through the roof, melting the snow.
The melting snow then flows to the gutter and the eaves and refreezes leading to clogs. Homeowners should inspect the roof for missing, damaged, or loose shingles that develop leaks when the snow melts. You should also:
Keep the gutters and downspouts clean
Seal areas that allow warm air to escape through the attic. They include chimneys, vent pipes, exhaust fans, light fixtures, and attic hatches
Install ice slides to prevent ice slides from attaching to the roof
Install leaf guards on the gutters to ensure the water flows away from the home
Inspect the Furnace
You will probably rely on your furnace to keep you warm during the chilly weather hence the need to ensure it is clean and free of clutter. Consider engaging a professional to inspect it, and clean out soot and other debris that may cause a fire.
It is also essential to change the furnace filters monthly and keep the flue closed to prevent warm air from escaping. When inspecting the chimney, you should not feel any cold air escaping through space.
Ensure the Driveway and Walkway Clear
Snow and ice on driveways and sidewalks are the number one causes of accidents during the winter season. Snow shoveling is essential to keep your driveways clear of snow hence the need to ensure your snow shovel is in good shape. Also, give your snow blower a tune-up.
Shovel all trafficked areas and follow them up with rock salt to avoid ice buildup. Wear protective gear like hats and gloves to prevent developing frostbite but, if you are not up to the task, hire a snow removal company.
Service Essential Winter Equipment
You want such equipment to be ready when you need it. Consider replacing worn-out rakes and snow shovels, buying bags of sand or ice melt, and sharpening ice choppers. Also, drain out gas from equipment such as lawnmowers to avoid rust.
Seal Doors and Windows
Gaps around doors and windows make it difficult to keep the house warm. Install weather stripping around the doors and caulk around windows to keep the space warm while saving on heating costs. If you are using single-pane doors and windows, consider replacing them with double or triple-pane windows to enhance energy efficiency.
Prepare Outdoor Surfaces
Winter storms can get so severe wrecking your lawn, trees or garden. Consider trimming trees that have branches hanging too close to electrical wires or the house. Also, seal wood decks, driveways, and brick patios if they pose risks. If you have sensitive potted plants, move them to a sheltered place.
Ensure Outdoor Lighting is Working
Winter days are usually short, so you are likely to light bulbs before dusk. Ensure the paths, driveway, lawn, and other outdoor areas are well-lit and replace old bulbs with new ones to ensure you have reliable lighting throughout the season.
While the winter season does not come as a surprise, most homeowners hardly prepare for it. These tips should prepare you and your family for the hazards that come with the winter season and keep safe. Be sure to keep an emergency kit within reach.