Preparing Your Home for Winter
November 30, 2015
Winter’s freezing temperatures, snow, strong wind, and ice are not only a lot for you to deal with, they also take a toll on your house. In order to be sure your home is prepared to deal with those rough conditions—and to help keep your energy costs down—take time now to prepare your home for the winter.
- Check your heating system. Winter is the time when you’ll be putting your furnace, boiler, or heat pump to work the most. Have a professional do an inspection to ensure that the unit has no blockages, its components and controls are in good working order, and it’s prepared to run more frequently than it has in warmer months.
- Clean, clear, and seal your roof. The roof is a place where leaks can allow thawing water from snow and ice into your home, causing damage. Branches hanging from nearby trees can become heavy with snow or ice, and fall on the roof. To avoid these problems this winter, have a professional seal leaks, clean the roof, and trim branches to keep the roof free and clear of those items.
- Clean gutters. Leaves, branches, and other items can collect in and block gutters. Before winter, clean gutters of these blockages to prevent potential damage.
- Prevent frozen pipes. Bursting pipes, often caused when water freezes inside of them, can cause significant damage in a house. You can work to prevent this problem by taking a few steps. Make sure that the temperature in your home stays above freezing, even if you’re going to be away. Have a professional drain your lawn irrigation system. Outside, disconnect hoses and turn off faucets to prevent water from collecting in those areas. And just in case the worst happens and your pipes do burst, know where your water main is so that you can shut it off.
- Prepare your snow removal equipment. When the snow comes, you’ll want to be ready for it. If you have a snowblower, fill it with gas, and make sure it runs well. Find your snow shovels and salt, so that you can begin removing snow from walking surfaces after a snowfall, making them safer.
These are a few steps you can take to prepare for what could be a harsh winter ahead. You likely have your own annual routines. Add our suggestions to your usual activities, and you’ll be in good shape to handle any harsh weather that comes your way this winter.