Cold weather can be just as harmful to your property as it is to your person. Luckily, there are several things you can do to prepare your house for a harsh winter. We’ve put together a list of 10 tips you can follow to keep your home safe throughout the season. From securing your pipes to ensuring that your roof can handle heavy snowfall, the simple strategies on our home winterization checklist can go a long way toward saving you a lot of hassle and a lot of money down the road.
1. Protect Your Pipes
When water freezes, it expands. If that expansion is happening inside of your pipes, it can cause a rupture. A ruptured pipe is costly to fix, so here are a few ways to avoid finding yourself in that predicament. First, locate your cutoff valve so you’ll know how to shut your water off quickly if needed. After that, drain excess water from your pipes and begin the process of insulating them with foam.
2. Weatherproof Your Home
Removing screen doors and installing glass doors will help keep your house warm as well as prevent damage from winter winds. When windchill begins to increase, any area exposed to the outside elements becomes a risk. By weatherproofing doors and windows and removing screen doors, you can keep the cold out and the heat in. This will lower your energy bills and make your home much cozier.
3. Clean the Gutters
Once the last leaves of autumn have fallen, make sure your gutters are free of debris. Excess leaves can cause backup in your gutters that can lead to water being trapped in places it should not be. When the temperature drops, that water can freeze, leaving you with gutters that don’t work properly. Clogged gutters can also cause water to pool in areas near your roof, potentially leading to significant structural damage. Get those gutters cleaned and think about installing guards that will prevent debris from entering the main track.
4. Caulk the Cold Away
Caulk is a versatile insulator that will protect your home from drafty windows, doors, and other entry points. After checking and caulking all the weak points around these areas, head to the attic, where heat is most likely to escape from a house.
5. Clean Your Fireplace
If your family enjoys sitting by the fire during the winter, make sure your fireplace and chimney are in good condition. Creosote, a dangerous byproduct of burning wood, can build up inside your flue and chimney over time. If you don’t clean your fireplace regularly, creosote buildup may cause a combustion next time you try to light a fire.
6. Put Outdoor Furniture and Equipment in Storage
Another way to winterize your home is by finding somewhere to store your outdoor furniture for the season. Snow and other winter elements can damage both the appearance and the structural integrity of these items. ASAP Site Services offers portable storage rentals that can keep your grills and patio furniture safe from the cold until spring.
7. Replace Your Furnace Filter
Odds are your furnace will be working overtime in order to keep you and your family comfortable during the colder months. Replace the filter in your furnace before winter kicks off so it can handle the extra usage as efficiently as possible.
8. Trim Tall Trees
Trimming trees that hang over your roof is a simple thing you can do to protect the top of your house. If you don’t trim often enough, the leaves and debris that will build up on your shingles may cause rot and eventually leak into the wood, compromising the roof’s structural integrity. Winter weather will accelerate this process, so take care of the trees and clear the leaves off your roof before sleet and snow set in. A roll-off dumpster rental will make it easy to dispose of the trimmings, along with the gunk in your gutters.
- Inspect Your Attic
Another key to successfully winterizing your house is making sure your attic is in great shape. As mentioned above, make sure your attic is properly insulated. Also check for water leaks and staining, which will reveal whether you need repairs and where to make them.
10. Take Care of Your Plants
If you can, bring your plants inside! If you can’t, make sure they’re safe outdoors by using frost guards and covering them up with tarps.
Now that you know how to winterize a house, you’ll be able to enjoy hot cocoa by the fire without worrying about inclement weather damaging your property. Try to stay warm until spring!